August 10th, 2015
This August will mark the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which granted women the right to vote. Historically, women were expected to focus on housework and motherhood, not politics. However, during the 1820s and 1830s many women had become involved in groups such as anti-slavery organizations and even had leading roles. They no longer felt they had to be concerned exclusively with the home. In 1848, women’s rights began to organize at the national level under the leadership of abolitionists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. They raised public awareness and lobbied the government to grant voting rights to women. The movement took 70 years.
CCPL has excellent resources, videos and books for all ages about women’s suffrage. Ken Burns produced a documentary “Not for Ourselves Alone: the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony” and there’s a new book by Susan Ware, “American Women’s History: a Very Short Introduction.” If you prefer fiction, the 19th amendment plays prominently in Ken Follett’s “Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy.”
To celebrate the anniversary, on August 18th at 6:30pm the Cecilton Branch Library will host Historian Mike Dixon who will present on the struggle to extend voting rights to most adult citizens in Maryland and the nation with special focus on the women’s suffrage movement in Cecil County.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/97500299/