New York State capitol tours highlight suffrage centennial

Online registration is now available for special Capitol suffrage tours celebrating the centennial of women winning the right to vote in New York State and for the annual Capitol Hauntings tours of the New York State Capitol. New York State is where the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls in 1848 and where women won the right to vote in 1917, three years before the 19th Amendment was ratified. The one-hour tour will explore the connections between the Capitol and the historic fight for suffrage. It will feature an exhibit of artifacts selected to showcase the suffragists’ journey from earliest ambition to success. The tours also coincide with suffrage exhibits and events at the New York State Museum and the Albany Institute of History and Art. The free Capitol suffrage tours will be offered on Tuesdays, Nov 7 and 14, at 5:30 p.m.; and on Saturdays, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9, at noon. Capitol Hauntings Tours explore the legends, folklore, and “ghost stories” connected to the historic state Capitol, begins on Monday, October 2.

Space is limited, so pre-registration for both the suffrage and hauntings tours is required and can be done online at or by calling (518) 474-2418). Weekday tours begin at the information desk in the Capitol’s State Street lobby, and Saturday tours start at the Empire State Plaza Visitor Center and Gift Shop in the underground North Concourse. Both tours last approximately an hour


Register now for Seneca Falls Dialogues

240px-Suitcase_icon.svgRegistration is now open for the 4th Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues, scheduled for October 17-19 in Seneca Falls, New York.  A collaborative effort coordinated by WILL and the University Alliance, the Dialogues focus on the continuing struggle for human rights.  

The March Call for Dialogues yielded numerous responses.  A total of 15 topics were selected by the Alliance for presentation, to be facilitated by groups traveling from as far away as Kent State and Indiana Universities.  

Past biennial events have drawn nearly 200 participants, mainly students, professors and women’s studies program directors, and women’s rights activists.  

While there is a cost to participate, the conference planners have kept the registration fees to a minimum. Student registration costs $50.  Non-student registration is $125.  For those who wish to attend just the dinner and/or brunch, each featuring keynote speakers, tickets for those events can be purchased separately (see registration information here).

In order to make the event affordable for everyone, a limited number of scholarships which cover both registration and hotel assistance are available to students. Students must send an informal scholarship request to Conference Co-Chair Angela Clark-Taylor at  All scholarship requests must be received prior to September 11.  Applicants must submit information concerning the nature of their financial need, including the lack of other financial resources to support their participation.

UN Women will present at Convention Days this weekend in Seneca Falls!

UN WomenUN Women will lead a discussion on women’s rights and their initiatives around the world on Sunday, July 20th from 2 pm to 3 pm as part of the 2014 Convention Days Celebration.

UN Women was created to address challenges women face throughout the world. Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the: elimination of discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Visit the national park website at or call (315) 568-0024. All sites within Women’s Rights National Historical Park are free and open to the public.

LetsRockTheCradle continues with its audio podcast series through July: “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” The commentary by Elizabeth Cady Stanton is from her memoir, “Eighty Years and More.” A series of seven podcasts.

Special podcast about Seneca Falls, NY from our reporter on the scene!

#1: Two-minute podcast about what Seneca Falls, NY was like when Elizabeth Cady Stanton moved there as a young woman. She tells her own story about arriving in Seneca Falls, NY and feeling isolated, but busy, building a new life.

Seneca Falls Convention DaysConvention Days in July each year in Seneca Falls, New York. Full schedule of events, July 18-20, 2014. LetsRockTheCradle will cover this event with eyewitness accounts by our reporter on the scene, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Her special online reports average two minutes per podcast, so there’s no reason to say you’re too busy to stop and listen to the updates leading up to the special events scheduled for July 18-20, 2014 in the heart of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States.

Seneca Falls is a “go to” place in July because of Convention Days. And the town is decked out for visitors who also want to drop by the national park, the hall of fame, and other destinations.

Audio by Librivox. Edited selections by  Follow Elizabeth Cady Stanton who describes her experiences in a seven podcast series.

Seneca Falls, NY: The chosen location July 18-19 of Declaration of Muslim women

Street signHold onto your seats, Cradle fans. “The Next Great Movement: Muslim Women’s Liberation” is described in an article about how on July 18-19, 2014 a group of Muslim women will hold a convention in Seneca Falls, New York to issue a “Declaration of the Equities for Muslim Women.” Link. PDF.

The announcement links to Convention Days, the web site advertising the annual celebration of the 1848 women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls. This is another reason to visit Seneca Falls, NY in July. This occasion is expected be a cradle rocker, though at the time of this posting the program agenda for the two days has yet to be announced.

This summer, plan to visit Seneca Falls, NY in the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton house
Save July 18-July 20 for Convention Days 2014 when the town of Seneca Falls, NY will comemorate the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. Meet Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her descendant; kayak the First Annual Convention Paddle; have your head read by a phrenologist; hear speakers Nadia Shahram and Daisy Kahn; tour Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home; march in the Women’s Rights procession; tour local museums; attend dinners, receptions, films, and the Side Walk Festival. Seneca Falls, New York is located in the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in New York State. Seneca Falls is considered the historic gateway to the Finger Lakes.

Resources: The awakening of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Part I. Part II. A virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Celebrate Cady-Stanton’s birthday all year long.


Rocking the cradle through centennials, songs, new Seneca Falls report, and other news

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In other news of rocking the cradle, the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY has released an administrative history, “All Men and Women are Created Equal”:  An Administrative History of Women’s Rights National Historical Park by Dr. Rebecca Conard, Professor of History and Director of the Public History Program at Middle Tennessee State University. The report highlights trends in historic preservation, interpretation and partnerships within the National Park Service.  She also found that legislation creating the park provided limits and opportunities that shaped decision-makers development of sites in Seneca Falls and Waterloo, N.Y. related to the nation’s first women’s rights convention in 1848. Conard is the author of several books and articles about the practice of history.  An electronic abstract of the Seneca Falls report is available at

The group 50-50 in 2020, is a statewide bipartisan effort to achieve political equity for Iowa women by the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2020. The organization has announced the appointment of Mary Ellen Miller as the organization’s first executive director. Miller joined the 50-50 in 2020 board in 2013. She has served on several other boards and has worked professionally as a fundraiser and organizational consultant after a long career in medical research at the University of Iowa.

An audio survey of women’s history and suffrage music is available online. The State of Montana is celebrating its suffrage centennial in 2014. The state’s terrific women’s history series is featured on

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Seneca Falls Dialogues on Teaching Ecofeminism

Seneca Falls DialoguesThe Seneca Falls Dialogues on Ecofeminism (scheduled for Seneca Falls, New York from October 17-19, 2014), is interested in assembling a session about teaching ecofeminism within college classrooms.   For the purposes of the session, “ecofeminism” is broadly to include environmental politics and activism, “natural” parenting practices (such as breastfeeding), animal rights, etc. Possible topics include (but are no means limited to):

o   Teaching ecofeminism in the college classroom: opportunities and challenges
o   Selecting texts and crafting assignments/projects on ecofeminism for undergraduate courses
o   Developing student activism surrounding ecofeminism

The Dialogues is an inherently interactive event. Collaboration with other contributors is sought to create a session in which experiences as educators teaching ecofeminism in college classrooms are shared, and questions and issues generated to discuss with audience members. For more information: Link. Also: and

News items from the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement

Kimberly Szewczyk has been named the Women’s Rights National Historical Park’s new chief of interpretation and education. The New Hampshire native will begin her new job in Seneca Falls on January 12. She was previously chief of interpretation at Fort Stanwix National Monument. For more information.

The Canastota Canal Town Museum and the Canastota Public Library will host a presentation by Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz on Monday, March 10 at 7 p.m.  entitled “The Contributions of Madison County Women to History” at the Canastota Public Library.  In honor of women’s history month, Urtz will showcase Madison County’s history of progressive women who worked to better the world they lived in.  The talk is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served. On Monday March 11 at 7 p.m., the Hamilton Public Library will host the same presentation by the Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz. For information, call 315-824-3060.

More rocking articles, including story of the suffrage wagon, the “Spirit of 1776”

This article brings together the holiday classic film with the possible connections to the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Check out this unique perspective about Seneca Falls, only on LetsRockTheCradle. #1. #2. Published in “New York History,” December 2013.

The "Spirit of 1776" NYS Archives article

Article by Marguerite Kearns about an old wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” that in 1913 became a suffragist symbol of the unfinished American Revolution. Read 2013 article from the New York Archives magazine, reprinted with permission.