League celebrates suffrage movement centennial

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The Martha’s Vineyard League of Women Voters announced August activities that will celebrate and educate the Island about the centennial of the historic suffrage movement. The events will take place from August 18 to 26.

League members will kick off the week with a gathering on Tuesday, August 18, from 5 to 6 pm at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven. On Saturday, August 22, league members will meet from 10 to 11 am at Cannonball Park in Edgartown, and on Wednesday, August 26, from 10 to 11 am, members will gather in Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs. 

Anyone is welcome to join the gatherings. The league encourages anyone interested in participating in the events to dress in white, wear a sash, and carry a sign celebrating voters’ rights or the stories of black and white women who fought for the right to vote.

The league is recognizing the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1919. Also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, the 19th Amendment passed both houses of Congress, but then needed to be ratified by two-thirds of the states before it became the law. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it on August 26, 1920, marking the day it went into effect.

“And the local league looks forward to future opportunities to educate about the unequal distribution of voting rights for women, even after the 1920 ratification,” the league wrote in a press release. “Some women were able to vote right away, but many did not get that power until more than 40 years later.”

The league will be partnering with the M.V. Museum throughout the week to feature social media stories. The M.V. Museum’s Facebook and Instagram will highlight a story, interview, or event honoring the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

In a partnership with the M.V. Chamber of Commerce, the Edgartown Board of Trade, and the Oak Bluffs and Tisbury Business Association, storefronts will display mannequins with suffrage sashes. The sashes will be purple, white, and sunflower gold. The league will also post flyers with dates for primary election mail-in voting and the general election.

For more information about these activities and other resources about the suffrage movement visit the league’s website.