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In its final decade, from 1909 to 1920, movement leaders wrestled with contentious questions about the most effective methods for affecting social change. They debated the use of militant, even violent tactics, as well as hunger strikes and relentless public protests. The battle for the vote also upended previously accepted ideas about the proper role of women in American society and challenged the definitions of citizenship and democracy.
Exploring how and why millions of 20th-century Americans mobilized for -- and against -- women's suffrage, The Vote brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then -- and continue to dominate political discourse today.
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Also, find the current schedule of events at LWV 100 Calendar of Events
Suppressed: The Fight to Vote Story about what happened in Georgia
Sunday, March 8 at the Pinnacle Ch 24 International Women's Day coverage including LWV:
April 13: As many of you already know, the colors of the American suffrage movement are purple, yellow and white to represent loyalty, purity and hope respectfully. While all three of the colors were used during parades, it was the brightness of the white that left the biggest impression. To pay tribute to suffragists and their fight for women's rights, white has become the color of suffrage.
What you may NOT know, was how the suffrage movement started a fashion trend. "In 1851, Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York debuted a radical new look: a knee-length skirt with full Turkish-style pantaloons gathered at the ankle. Amelia Jenks Bloomer, publisher of a trailblazing newspaper for women called The Lily, wrote articles about Miller's outfit and printed illustrations of it, wore a similar getup herself and urged other women to shed their heavy, bulky hoop skirts in favor of the new style. ... the so-called "bloomers" made it easier for their wearers to get through doorways, onto carriages and trains and along rainy, muddy streets. Bloomers quickly became so popular that they became synonymous with the women's rights movement--and infamous among the movement's critics. Though activists such as Susan B. Anthony discarded the style after they realized they were getting more attention for their dress than their message, this early fashion rebellion would eventually help women claim the freedom to wear what they wanted to wear." (Pruitt)
This week, we encourage you (and your families) to wear white and/or your own modern day "bloomers", take a photo and share it with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or social media on facebook and twitter.
Pruitt, Sarah. 7 Things You Might Not Know About the Women's Suffrage Movement. http://www.history.com, January 12, 2016. Accessed April 11, 2020.
April 14: Without the advantage of social media or national broadcasts, the suffrage movement relied heavily on picketing, protesting and parades.
While suffragists often picketed the White House, "daily picketing began on January 10, 1917. During that year, more than 1,000 women from across the country joined the picket line outside the White House. Between June and November, 218 protesters from 26 states were arrested and charged with "obstructing sidewalk traffic." Of those arrested, 97 spent time in either the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia or in the District of Columbia jail. Initially, protesters stood silently, holding placards inscribed with relatively tame messages such as "Mr. President, what will you do for Woman Suffrage?" and "How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?" ....Influenced in part by the publicity generated by the White House pickets and subsequent arrests and forced feedings of women protesters, President Wilson lent his support to the suffrage amendment in January 1918". (https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/august-28/)
What current voting rights message would you use on a sign today? We encourage you (and your families) to make your voter rights sign, take a photo and share it with us via email to email@example.com or social media on Facebook and Twitter.
April 15: Today, we are directing our attention to some of the greatest supporters of the suffrage movement - the "suffragents".
"American men as individuals had publicly supported the rights of women as far back as 1775, when Thomas Paine published his essay "An Occasional Letter on the Female Sex." After the Seneca Falls Convention to support women's rights in 1848, other men wrote more specifically in support of women's enfranchisement, notably William Lloyd Garrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Frederick Douglass. In England, John Stuart Mill's "The Subjection of Women," published in 1869, echoed many of the arguments that his wife, Harriet Taylor Mill, had presented in "The Enfranchisement of Women," 18 years earlier....
Yet to take on the cause of women's suffrage was almost always to do so at a price, especially for men...where the men endured what, for the times, were unforgettably pernicious assaults on their masculinity. "Hold up your skirts, girls!" ... "You won't get any dinner unless you march all the way, Vivian!"... "Take that handkerchief out of your cuff.'"
From a contemporary standpoint, it is remarkable to consider that 100 years ago, these prominent men not only gave their names to the cause of women's rights or called in the odd favor, but invested in the fight...From the beginning of their involvement, these men willingly acted on orders from and in tandem with the women who ran the greater state and national suffrage campaigns" (Kroeger)
Men played an enormous role throughout the suffrage movement, but maybe no one man had more impact than that of one Mr. Harry T. Burn, State Representative from Tennessee, who with his one vote, gave the right to vote to 20,000,000 American women.
Today, we pay tribute to the men who fought for women's right to vote and for those who continue to fight for voting rights for all. Please honor the men who continue this fight by recognizing them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.
Kroeger, Brooke. The little-known story of the men who fought for women's votes. Timeline, March 16, 2018. Accessed: April 14, 2020. https://timeline.com/the-men-who-supported-suffragettes-c8d1b921d71f
April 16: As we begin to wrap-up our week-long series of paying tribute to our founders who persevered 100 years ago to ensure the passage of the 19th Amendment, we direct our attention to the unsung heroes of the suffrage movement + Black Suffragists. The success of the suffrage movement was in no small part driven by the support, dedication and determination from women + who even with the passage of the 19th amendment +did not win the right to vote. For decades, the stories of Black Suffragists were untold, their involvement was unrecognized, and the risks they faced were undocumented in the history books. To this we say....no more!
In the words of LWVUS CEO Viginia Kase, "The path to women's suffrage was complicated, and sometimes ugly. History books tend mostly to credit the courage and tenacity of white women. It is past time to amend the history books and tell the real story of the suffrage movement. It is past time we all celebrate the women of color who were at the center of the movement alongside their white counterparts...Now, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate all the amazing women who fought for the 19th Amendment. We should. But in doing so, let us also ensure significant Black Suffragists like Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Mary Church Terrell have their place in history, a place equally as prominent as that of white suffrage leaders."
Not only did black women have a significant role in the suffrage movement, but the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs was one of the (14) organizations who founded the League of Women Voters of Ohio. Their work was, and continues to be, invaluable to LWVO and our mission.
We cannot change our past. However, we can, and are, using the injustices to guide the changes necessary to ensure our organization embodies diversity, justice and inclusivity for the next 100 years. LWV is constantly evolving. We have come a long way, however, we recognize we have a long way to go. We look forward to promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture within our organization, so we never again forget any race and the contributions made towards our future.
To the unsung heroes of the women's suffrage movement - Black Suffragists - We Thank You.
April 17: As we began 2020 + our Centennial Year - we could never have imagined we would also be experiencing a pandemic of centurial proportion. We could never have imagined our celebrations would be canceled, postponed or delivered through an on-line format. We could never have imagined being halted in our tracks. And yet, that is exactly what happened 100 years ago....our founders were halted in their tracks, however, they never gave up hope that on the other side of the Spanish Flu stood victory.
Over the last week, we have provided a history of the fashion trends, the signs, and the unsung heroes of a century ago, as a reminder, to have hope and know that, we will make it through this...just as our founders did.
As a way of commemorating our rich and hopeful history, we invite you to join the LWVO CENTENNIAL CLUB.
The CENTENNIAL CLUB was formed as a way to recognize 100 Years of the League of Women Voters and 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment. As a member of the Club you will:
Our goal is to register at least 1000 Centennial Club members by Women's Equality Day! CENTENNIAL CLUB membership is $100 since LWV was founded 100 years ago.
Thank you for your continued support! Be watching over the next few months for future installments of Wake Up with LWVO.
As always, Your LWVO Team.
Sunday, March 8 at the Pinnacle Ch 24 covers Int'l Women's Day including LWV: Click Here
In addition, LWV provided a program insert on the history of the 19th amendment and the founding of the League of Women Voters ... and in lieu of cake, had LWV logo cookies from the Cookie Lady. They were exquisite!
The LWV was founded 100 years ago on Valentine's Day, and the three local leagues celebrated on Valentine's weekend, at the Valentine Theatre with a sold-out performance of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. How perfect!
VADAE MEEKISON (1884-1981) An attorney and suffragist, Vadae Meekison, spent her adult life in Napoleon, Ohio. She received her law degree from Valparaiso (Indiana) University, one of the few law schools at the time willing to accept a woman student. She was admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1907, and in 1959, was the first woman elected to the Valparaiso Law School Hall of Fame. By the time she began the practice of law, Vadae already was known statewide for her women's voting rights campaigning and was a critical figure in Ohio's Woman Suffrage Movement. She and Judge Florence Allen crisscrossed the state for a decade addressing countless meetings on the topic of suffrage. During WWI, she took the lead in organizing the Henry County unit of the American Red Cross. In 1919, Vadae was chosen to christen the ocean-going oil tanker USS Henry County. Passing the Ohio Bar in 1926, Vadae became the first woman lawyer in Henry County, where she continued to practice for more than 40 years.
If you want to learn more about Vadae, be sure to attend the March 4 event at BGSU library.
EVA EPSTEIN SHAW (1891-1951) On a hot day, a barrister interviewing Eva Shaw said, "It would be painful to me to have a woman in my office, because I should not like to send her even to the courthouse on a day like this." Eva had attended the University of Toledo and received her law degree from St. John University Law School. She became a member of the State Board of Bar Examiners, a Director of the Toledo Hebrew School and wrote on the legal status of women. She began the practice of law in 1918. Four years later, she went into practice with her brother, Jacob Epstein. A local attorney who knew Eva said that even those who did not welcome Shaw's presence in the practice of law respected her abilities and her hard working manner and regarded her as a fighter. In 1922, she attracted national acclaim after drafting the bill creating the Domestic Relations Court for Lucas County. She never sought public office, though often mentioned for judgeships.
OLIVE COLTON (1873-1972) In 1948, at the age of 75, Olive Colton was named "Woman of the Year" by the Toledo Times newspaper. The daughter of Abram Colton, president of Lake Erie Transfer Company, she traced her family on her mother's side to the Knickerbockers of New York. Olive had been one of the first women who dared to vote in 1896, when Ohio only allowed women to vote for school board candidates. She was active in the suffragist movement, campaigned for minimum wage legislation and was a founding member of the League of Women Voters. Even after women gained the right to vote in 1920, she continued writing about political issues and was a vocal proponent of the city manager form of government. Her papers and articles document the women's movement in northwest Ohio and are archived at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and the University of Toledo Canaday Center.
PAULINE PERLMUTTER STEINEM (1863-1940) The first woman elected to any public office in Toledo was Pauline Steinem, Gloria Steinem's grandmother. She arrived in Toledo in 1887 at age twenty-four and immediately involved herself in a number of groups and organizations, including the Hebrew Ladies' Benevolent Society and the Council of Jewish Women. She was a supporter of Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones and his efforts to introduce honest government. It was Jones who convinced Pauline to run for the Toledo Board of Education in 1904. Women had been granted the right to vote in school board elections in Ohio, so a major focus of her campaign effort was convincing women to register to vote. Three thousand two hundred and three women registered and the local press endorsed Pauline. She won easily and worked for better teacher education and better text books. In 1911, she turned her attention to and focused her efforts on women's suffrage, which was finally achieved in 1920.
DR SARA DAVIES (1866-1950) Known as "Dr. Stork," Sara Davies was thirty-one when she decided on a medical career. In 1899, she graduated from the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College and chose Toledo as the city where she would practice. For the first five years, her office was on East Broadway, and from there, she walked all over the city to tend her patients. In 1905, she bought an automobile, but soon traded it for a horse and buggy. For the next 45 years, her home and office were located on Greenwood Avenue in East Toledo. Sara delivered several generations of babies, a total of 3,800 during her half century of practice. She also had a large general practice, and frequently served as counselor for her patients facing marriage and family crises. Sara kept meticulous notes on each delivery, which became an invaluable birth record, especially during WWII, when birth certificates were required for many jobs. The record, in her handwriting, was all that was needed.
FIRST, we are marking the 100th anniversaries of the LWV and ratification of the 19th amendment. SECOND, we have created events to educate and inform regarding the hard-fought battle to attain and secure and protect those rights. THIRD, we are promoting and raising awareness of the LWV and its nonpartisan efforts to inform voters on issues and candidates, make people aware of their voting rights, and encourage them to exercise those rights.
For all these events to be successful and achieve these objectives, all league members need to be involved. You can help by volunteering to set-up and staff voter registration tables, assisting with children's activities, and serving as a docent with the display (engaging the public, answering questions and sharing suffrage history).
The volunteer coordinators for each of the three leagues are: Bowling Green + Lee Hakel; Perrysburg Area + Deborah Gorman and Nancy Kelley; Toledo-Lucas County: Eleanor Kostecki, Cynthia Fisher and Barb Colvin.
Let them know where and how you would like to be involved. A number of our partners for this year have scheduled events that you only need to attend to support. Look for them on the soon-to-be-shared/posted 2020 events calendar.
Other January events:
JANUARY 16 kicks off the monthly Localeyes program featuring women of northwest Ohio at Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Chrys Peterson, consultant and former WTOL anchor, will talk about works of art important to her. Meet at 6 p.m. in Libbey Court
JANUARY 26 YWCA I Rise Coalition Unity March. Meet at 3:30 p.m. at the Love Mural and march to Trinity Church for speakers and hot chocolate.
JANUARY 31 BackStory, a monthly, 30-minute current affairs television series, coproduced by LWV, launches on WGTE. The new interview program, hosted by retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Judith Lanzinger, airs at 8:30 p.m. following Washington Week. The January topic is voting rights. This info is brought to you by Judy Kehrle, Chair of 100th Anniversary Committee
All actors, including audience hecklers, will be in period costume. LWV has sought a variety of northwest Ohio venues and audiences and the ability to piggyback on existing events to ensure an audience. Audiences will be supplemented by LWV members in period costume, wearing white "Votes for Women" sashes and carrying placards.
The first "RALLY" will be at Sauder Village, Archbold, on July 25. An entire day of events and activities has been planned around the performance of "RALLY," with the Village's new 1920s Main Street as the backdrop.
The day kicks off with a volunteer appreciation breakfast. Sauder volunteers attending will be urged to come in costume and remain for the march and reenactment. As gates open for guests, there will be a variety of activities to engage children, such as making white, Votes for Women sashes, badges and placards. As the time for the march nears, shopkeepers will close their doors and post "Gone to the Rally" signs. Moving toward the top of Main Street, the costumed Sauder volunteers and staff will urge guests to join them saying, "Come on, I want to hear what these women have to say." Guests, actors and league members will march down Main Street to the bandstand, where a band performing period music will be playing. "RALLY" will be performed on the elevated porch of the Depot. An admission underwriter is being sought to make this day free and open to all.
The first: A new current affairs television series, "The BackStory," will be launched in January 2020. The monthly, 30-minute interview-format programs will air the last Friday of the month at 8:30 p.m. following Washington Week in Review. The programs will focus on topical issues important to an informed public.
A three-member committee consisting of:
will identify and research the topics, plus schedule the topic experts to be interviewed in each episode. Retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger will be the moderator/interviewer.
Debra Gorman Perrysburg Area league
Ann Fabiszak-Payne Toledo-Lucas County league
Jennifer Karches Bowling Green league
Topics for the first quarter are:
January: 19th Amendment, suffrage still denied with
Chelsea Griffis and Robert Samsel
February: The Census
The second: WGTE will produce 90-second television and radio spots highlighting women of northwest Ohio, who have made major contributions in a wide variety of fields, from women and children's rights to business to science to the arts. These spots, voiced by Chrys Peterson, former WTOL anchor, will run from February through September and be archived on the WGTE website so schools, the leagues and others can link to them. WGTE will also archive league produced educational materials for educators.
January 16 LOCALEYES with Chrys Peterson
Christie Weininger, left, executive director of the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums in Fremont, will be the tour guide for the Toledo Museum of Art Localeyes on February 20. She was present on Thursday evening January 16 for the Localeyes program with Chrys Peterson, right, former WTOL anchor and leadership coach.
The 100th anniversary of the LWV on Valentine's Day will be celebrated on Valentine's weekend at the Valentine Theatre with a performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
The performance is Saturday night, February 15 at 8 p.m.
Members are urged to purchase tickets early and invite friends.
There will be a LWV table along with the Ohio History Connection (OHC) display at the Valentine Theatre. An insert in the program will highlight the League's history, the long struggle for women's suffrage and the continuing effort for voter rights. League members will wear white sashes (provided). It should be noted, that February 15 is also Susan B. Anthony's birthday! Let's have a great member turnout and kick-off for 2020.
Printed invitations are being sent to regional women's organizations and dignitaries, inviting them to attend and celebrate with the LWV. The three northwest Ohio leagues, Bowling Green, Perrysburg Area and Toledo-Lucas County, each committed to purchase 50 tickets. As you purchase tickets, let your league's anniversary committee members know, so the committee can maintain a tally.
Tickets are available at all price points. To purchase tickets, call the Valentine Theatre Box Office at 419-242-2787.
Suffrage: in a representative government, the right to vote in electing public officials and adopting or rejecting proposed legislation. Suffragist: a person advocating for the extension of suffrage, especially to women Suffragette: women who believed in direct action, often militant and confrontational, to achieve suffrage
In the U. S., the Suffragists became a national organization. The Suffragettes represented a smaller group with 2000 members at its peak in 1914. The Suffragists allowed men to join; the Suffragettes did not. While women in America preferred the more serious and respected label of suffragist, many British advocates associated with the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) embraced the term suffragette, explaining: the suffragist wants the vote, while the suffragette means to get it.
AAUW/Toledo * Arts Commission of Toledo * Bowling Green Public Library * Bowling Green State University * City of Oregon * Fort Meigs * Girls Scouts of Western Ohio * Glacity Theatre Cooperative * Hayes Presidential Library and Museum * Imagination Station * Mazza Museum * Ohio History Connection * Owens-Corning * ProMedica * Sauder Village * Toledo Museum of Art * Toledo Opera * Toledo Opera Guild * Toledo Press Club * Toledo-Lucas County Public Library * University of Toledo * Valentine Theatre * Way Public Library * WGTE *Women of Toledo (WOT) * YWCA
DETAILS TO FOLLOW!
The calendar is now set, with just a few dates yet to be confirmed, and the steering committee is now focused on making each event memorable, educational and replicable. Partnerships with more than 20 organizations are in place and moving forward.
Reports will follow in the coming weeks regarding the scheduled events and opportunities for member involvement ... and members are urged to become involved and participate. A volunteer sign-up sheet and calendar of events will be mailed to members of all three leagues.
Steering committee members are: Lee McLaird, Lee Hakel, Kay Sergent & Jennifer Karches of the Bowling Green League; Debra Gorman & Nancy Kelley of the Perrysburg League; Phyllis Berman, Jeanny Amidon, Ann Fabiszak- Payne, Cherie Spino, Jennifer Nagel, Holly Monsos, Janet Lyon, Kelby Sodeman & Judy Kehrle of the Toledo-Lucas County League.
Please contact them with questions and let them know your interest in participating. For the coming year to be successful, all league members must be involved and committed to making the year a success.