Honoring history, making progress

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To the Editor:

We hope everyone enjoyed seeing the suffrage colors — purple, white and (sunflower) yellow — displayed across the Vineyard during our weeklong commemoration of the 19th Constitutional Amendment, a historic milestone in voter rights that began to give women in the U.S. the power of the vote. On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified by the 36th state, Tennessee, and on August 26, 1920, it was certified into law.

The League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard wants to thank so many who participated in making the activities fun and a success — the M.V. Museum, M.V. Chamber of Commerce, and all the storefronts showing the suffrage sashes on mannequins and posting informational flyers with dates for the upcoming election season. We also want to thank the women, men, and children who joined league members in our three suffrage gatherings held during the week — some in suffrage dress, carrying banners and posters.

Our centennial commemoration began in January — and like so many other activities on the Vineyard this summer season, required being repurposed, with some going virtual and others held with safe distancing. 

In October, the M.V. Museum is planning an exhibition on the 19th Amendment through a local Vineyard lens. If you have a story about suffrage that you would like to share, please email stories@mvmuseum.org.

Along with activities that are honoring history, we want to spotlight making progress, particularly in voting rights for all — through a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to vote. 

Deborah Medders
League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard