Ohio University

Suffrage Centennial

 

Join us throughout 2020 in celebrating the suffrage centennial with these events happening in Athens and our surrounding communities! If you have an event that you would like added to this website, please submit your event online.

The 19th Amendment was passed on August 20, 1920. Even still, there was much work to be done to guarantee that women were able to exercise the right to vote. All Puerta Rican women were not granted the vote until 1935. As you celebrate with us the passage of the 19th Amendment, we encourage you to also read about Jim Crow laws and other obstacles to voting. 

Exhibit "Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage"

Opens January 13th and available throughout the Spring Semester anytime the 4th floor is open.

The exhibit "Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage" celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passing and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. 

The 19th Amendment guarantees American women the right to vote. Yet at the time of its passing, many individual state laws still allowed for discriminatory policies that prevented most African Americans and other minorities from voting. Thus, the struggle for equal enfranchisement continued until the Voting Rights Act in 1965. To this day, equal voting rights continues to be a rather contentious topic of debate. Nevertheless, the passing of the 19th Amendment, achieved only after a long and difficult struggle, was a pivotal moment in American and women’s history.This exhibit examines that history through materials from the Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections. Exhibit research by ENG 4940 students Harmony Renn and Saraya Abner and curation by special collections librarian Miriam Intrator.

FREE Film Showing and Discussion: Selma

 

January 21, 2020

7:00PM

Athena Cinema (20 South Court Street)

Brought to you by the Athena Cinema and sponsored by Ohio University Libraries, School of Film, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, English Department, History Department, Women’s Center, and Arts for Ohio.

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one Geof the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.

Free admission, as part of Athena Cinema’s Women Pioneers Series.

Exhibit Talk & Tour with Student Researcher-Curators Harmony Renn & Saraya Abner

February 3, 2020

4:00PM-5:00PM

Alden Library, 4th Floor

Please join student researcher-curators Harmony Renn & Saraya Abner as they discuss some of their favorite items in the exhibit Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage. As students in ENG 4940 Research Apprenticeship they conducted most of the in-depth research that made this exhibit possible. Sponsored by Ohio University Libraries.

Authors@Alden with Dr. Sara Egge

February 19, 2020

3:00PM-4:30PM

Alden Library, 4th floor

Please join us for Authors@Alden with Dr. Sara Egge, author of "Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest," in conversation with Ohio University Professor of History Dr. Katherine Jellison. The event is free and open to the public.

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passing and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. Dr. Sara Egge's book documents the suffrage movement in the midwest specifically, highlighting how important each state's actions were in the lead-up to this momentous shift in American and women's history.

Please join us on Wednesday, February 19th at 3pm the 4th floor of Alden for conversation and light refreshments. All are welcome.

This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibit "Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage."

Brought to you by Ohio University Libraries. Sponsors for this program include: History, English, HTC, Contemporary History Institute, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, WGSS. Partners include: Center for Campus & Community Engagement, Ohio Museum Complex, and the Women's Center.

FREE Film Showing of Mankiller and Discussion with Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, Director and Producer

 

February 25, 2020

7:00PM-9:00PM

Athena Cinema (20 South Court Street)

Sponsored by the Women's Center, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, Cutler Scholars, Margaret Boyd Scholars, OHIO Honors, and Athena Cinema. This program is also part of the Women Pioneers Series with Athena Cinema; partners for that series include Ohio University Libraries, School of Film, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, English Department, History Department, Women’s Center, and Arts for Ohio.

Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, Director and Producer of MANKILLER, is of Cherokee ancestry and the owner/founder of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc. Red-Horse Mohl and her company have become the preeminent collaborator with American Indian tribal nations to bring important Native stories accurately and respectfully to the screen.

When history fails to preserve stories from our past and present, it’s up to us to correct the record. Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is omitted from most history books despite ranking among revolutionary leaders like Harriet Tubman or Eleanor Roosevelt. She was an activist and a champion to a nation – and it’s time the world remembers her name. MANKILLER is a documentary celebrating a leader who defied all odds to make a difference for her people. During a time when American Indians found themselves disenfranchised and undervalued by the United States at large, Wilma emerged as a champion of the Cherokee Nation and became its first female Principal Chief in 1985.

Suffrage Transcription-a-thon: Making History Accessible

March 3, 2020

10:00AM-4:00PM (Participants are encouraged to come and go as they are able)

Alden Library, 5th Floor, Voinovich Room

Sponsored by the Women’s Center and Ohio University Libraries.

This program is a response to a call to action from By the People and the Library of Congress, to transcribe documents from throughout the women’s suffrage movement so that documents may be easily searched and accessed by contemporary readers.

100 Years of Change: An International Perspective

March 8, 2020

2:00PM-4:00PM

Southeast Ohio History Center (24 West State Street)

Sponsored by: Department of History, Southeast Ohio History Center, League of Women Voters of Athens County.

In honor of International Women's Day (March 8), a panel of women representing the Global South will address questions raised in the upcoming exhibit Ohio Women Vote: 100 Years of Change, which will be on display at the Southeast Ohio History Center beginning on March 16. Katherine Jellison of the Department of History will moderate, and refreshments will be served.

(EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19) Modernizing Your Suffrage Sash

March 24, 2020

4:00PM-6:00PM

Baker University Center, Room 403 (Women's Center)

Co-Sponsored by the Women’s Center and Ohio University Libraries

Suffragists, and particularly those associated with the National Woman’s Party (in the U.S.) or the Pankhurst's (in the U.K.) were known for pageantry. Suffragists utilized suffrage sashes to identify their organizations, states, and as method of delivery for their colors, which symbolized reasons as to why women should have the vote and/or their organization affiliation. In this session, participants may modernize a suffrage sash to represent their affiliation with current political or social movements. We encourage you to wear your new sash to our film showing later in the evening of Suffragette!

 

FREE film showing and discussion: Suffragette, with discussion led by Dr. Carey Snyder

 

March 24, 2020

7:00PM

Athena Cinema (20 South Court Street)

This program is also part of the Women Pioneers Series with Athena Cinema; partners for that series include Ohio University Libraries, School of Film, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, English Department, History Department, Women’s Center, and Arts for Ohio.

Maud (Carey Mulligan) is a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life.

(EVENT POSTPONED: Please visit the Southeast Ohio History Center website for updates) Ten-Thousand Feet for Freedom: Ohio’s 1912 Woman Suffrage Parade with Leslie Blankenship

March 26, 2020

5:30PM-7:00PM

Southeast Ohio History Center

In 1850-1851, the men of Ohio held a Constitutional Convention. They thought the 1802 Constitution needed updating.  Ohio women agreed whole-heartily.  They immediately convened four equal suffrage conventions in Columbiana, Morgan, and Morrow counties. They collected petitions containing 2,106 signatures from twelve counties praying that the words “white” and “male” be dropped from voter qualifications, and they submitted their petitions to the Constitutional Convention.  When the all-male vote was taken, the issue failed 73 to 7.  It was said that comments during discussion were “so low and obscene” they were not even recorded into the Proceedings.

Sixty-two years later, a spirit of reform was sweeping the country in reaction to the excesses of Big Business and harsh working conditions.  Progressive men wanted tools of direct democracy to counter these evils, while the daughters of the 1850 women were still waiting for their political equality. In 1912, Ohio men gaveled a Constitutional Convention into session. During five months, they deliberated 350 reforms and offered the [male] voters 42 amendments to approve at a September 3rd Special Election.  Amendment 23 would give Ohio women the right to vote in general elections for the first time.  To urge [male] voters to pass this amendment, Columbus suffragists invited women from all over Ohio to demonstrate in unity for their freedom.  On August 27, 1912, 5,000 women arrived in Columbus to march three miles in what the Columbus Citizen lauded as “Woman’s Suffrage Parade Greatest in State’s History.” 

Hear Belle Coit Kelton, Vice Chair of the suffrage parade, tell how the Columbus’ Centennial Celebration helped their demonstration, how they borrowed tactics from the “militant” British suffragette movement, and how difficult it was to persuade 1.3 million Ohio [male] voters to give up centuries of privileged institutional patriarchy in just three months.

Leslie Blankenship earned a Bachelor of Science (Secondary) Education degree from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, majoring in history and English with a minor in Political Science.  She came to Columbus in 1970 to study history in the Master’s Program at The Ohio State University where she first learned the story of the British suffragette movement.  She took the first Women’s History classes offered by OSU in 1972.  Along the way, she switched her pursuits to science and was employed by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in 1974 as a Marketing Communications Writer, using her education skills to inform scientists about the usefulness of CAS’ publications and services.  Retiring after 37 years in 2012, she began pursuing local history full time.  She was a founding member in 1996 of the Friends of Freedom (an Underground Railroad research organization) and has served on the boards of the Columbus Historical Society (mid-1990s), the Franklinton Historical Society since 1998, and the Ohio Local History Alliance 2013-2018.  She has been a Docent at the Kelton House Museum and Garden since 1990 where she first discovered the story of Belle Coit Kelton and the 1912 Ohio Woman Suffrage parade.

Modernizing Your Suffrage Sash

April 4, 2020

11:00AM-3:00PM

Alden Library 319 (Friends of the Library Room)

Co-Sponsored by the Women’s Center and Ohio University Libraries.

Suffragists, and particularly those associated with the National Woman’s Party (in the U.S.) or the Pankhurst's (in the U.K.) were known for pageantry. Suffragists utilized suffrage sashes to identify their organizations, states, and as method of delivery for their colors, which symbolized reasons as to why women should have the vote and/or their organization affiliation. In this session, participants may modernize a suffrage sash to represent their affiliation with current political or social movements.

 

Exhibit-Ohio Women Vote: 100 Years of Change

March 16, 2020 - April 5, 2020

Southeast Ohio History Center

This Ohio History Connection special panel traveling exhibit will examine and celebrate the path taken by Ohio women to achieve the right to vote, as well as the history of civic action led by a diverse spectrum of Ohio women throughout American history. This narrative will begin with the first women’s rights convention in 1848 and carry through the present day.

While telling this story, the exhibit will ask visitors to consider the intersections between various women’s movements and other American social movements such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Temperance Movement. Exploring these stories will require visitors to reckon with complicated questions of identity. For example, what does it mean to be a voter? To be a citizen? To be a woman? How can different parts of our identities change our experiences?

This traveling exhibit is presented in conjunction with the exhibit "Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage."

Exhibit-Ohio Women Vote: 100 Years of Change

April 6, 2020 - April 26, 2020

Alden Library, Fourth Floor.

This Ohio History Connection special panel traveling exhibit will examine and celebrate the path taken by Ohio women to achieve the right to vote, as well as the history of civic action led by a diverse spectrum of Ohio women throughout American history. This narrative will begin with the first women’s rights convention in 1848 and carry through the present day.

While telling this story, the exhibit will ask visitors to consider the intersections between various women’s movements and other American social movements such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Temperance Movement. Exploring these stories will require visitors to reckon with complicated questions of identity. For example, what does it mean to be a voter? To be a citizen? To be a woman? How can different parts of our identities change our experiences?

This traveling exhibit is presented in conjunction with the exhibit "Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage."

Both exhibits will be on the 4th floor of Alden Library and will be available for viewing anytime the 4th floor is open.

All are welcome.

FREE film showing and discussion: Iron Jawed Angels

 

April 14, 2020 (Please note that previously this date was listed incorrectly - April 14th is the correct date)

7:00PM

Athena Cinema (20 South Court Street)

Brought to you by the Athena Cinema and sponsored by Ohio University Libraries, School of Film, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, English Department, History Department, Women’s Center, and Arts for Ohio.

Free admission, as part of Athena Cinema’s Women Pioneers Series.

Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) was an American feminist who risked her life to fight for women’s citizenship and the right to vote. She founded the separatist National Woman’s Party and wrote the first equal rights amendment to be presented before Congress. Together with social reformer Lucy Burns (Frances O’Connor), Paul struggled against conservative forces to pass the 19th amendment and led a well-publicized hunger strike, earning her activists the moniker,” the iron-jawed angels.”

Please note, the Art+Feminism Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon has been postponed until the Fall 2020 semester. Please visit our friends at University Libraries for more details.