Editorial: An amendment worth celebrating
“Votes for Women: Ridgefield Celebrates the 19th Amendment” kicks off this week at the Keeler Tavern Museum’s Garden Room, where the Ridgefield League of Women Voters will celebrate Alice Paul Day Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 10:30 a.m.
It’s the first in a series of yearlong events, exhibits, and programs that will celebrate the the 100th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Ridgefield has a rich suffrage history that’s worth learning about and keeping alive by turning out and showing support throughout 2020.
In addition to the Ridgefield League of Women Voters and the Keeler Tavern Museum, the series is being co-sponsored the Ridgefield Library, the Ridgefield Historical Society and the Drum Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
Thanks to this joint effort, Ridgefielders will be able to engage with and celebrate this monumental amendment and pay homage to the leaders of the women’s rights movement.
Several book discussions of Elaine Weiss’s seminal work on the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, will take place around town, and the author herself will be at the library on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m., to discuss some of the many complex issues surrounding the passage of this amendment. On Saturday, May 16, at 4 p.m., Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall of John Jay College of Criminal Justice will give a lecture on race and the suffrage movement. A panel discussion about women’s rights from 1919 to today is also in the works. In addition, there will be concerts, talks about women in the arts and other fields, and many other educational and entertaining programs.
Other partner programs are also in the works to celebrate this important milestone.
But it all begins Tuesday at Keeler Tavern where there will be a small Alice Paul exhibit and a brief presentation about the “Ridgefield’s Radical” suffragist’s many accomplishments, as well as information about the founding of the League of Women Voters.
Other highlights of the program will be the “unveiling” of the replica of the league’s 11’ x 3’ 1911 Votes for Women Banner by its creator, the Rev. Maria Pia Seirup (read more on A1).
“Suffragist Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League, were two of the most important and influential women in the suffrage movement, and we’re looking forward to sharing information about them,” said League President Marilyn Carroll.
For more information on Votes for Women, visit ridgefieldlibrary.org/events or call 203-438-2282.