Women won the right to vote in New York State in 1917, but the story really began much earlier and with particular fervor in the mid 19th century.
In the 1840’s, upstate New York was a hotbed of radicalism. The “Second Great Awakening” brought with it spiritual revivalism, penal and education reforms, abolitionism and the temperance and women’s right movements. This turbulent atmosphere of ideas and events was not unlike the cultural upheaval of the 1960s.
In 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Coffin Mott and several other women gathered around a tea table in Waterloo, New York and drafted the “Declaration of Sentiments” based upon the Declaration of Independence. By inserting into the text that women, as well as men, were created equal, they renewed the revolution that was started seventy two years earlier in 1776. The protracted and arduous road to women’s right to the elective franchise took until 1917 to be realized in New York State and not until 1920 in the entire United States. Continue reading
In honor of the Centennial of New York State Women’s Suffrage, the 25th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend will feature programs on women during the Civil War. According to the Civil War Trust (March 8, 2016) “women played an instrumental role in the Civil War, both on and off the field” despite the cultural 19th Century norms. “Women left their homes and served as laundresses and nurses for both armies.” “Women also served on the field, cutting off their hair and changing their clothes and names to fight in battle.” “Those women who were not in the field were running farms and businesses that their husbands had left behind – a huge step in the march for independence.” Continue reading
On Sunday, June 18, at 1 pm at the Oneida Community Mansion House, 170 Kenwood Ave., Oneida, historian and author Tamar Carroll and Mansion House curator Molly Jessup will lead a discussion entitled ‘It Saved My Life:’ AIDS & Reproductive Rights Activism in the Creation of Queer Politics.
The discussion will focus on AIDS and women’s health activists in New York City during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the face of official silence and avoidance, members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP New York) and of the Women’s Health Action Mobilization (WHAM!) joined together to advocate awareness and a public health response to the HIV epidemic and for the right to health care. Carroll’s extensive interviews with some of those activists formed the basis for her book, Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty, and Feminist Activism. Continue reading
Event registration for the 2017 Path Through History Weekends has begun. Events will be held in Newburgh, New Lebanon and Penn Yann to celebrate the theme of Women’s Rights. Continue reading
Fire! … Please send help — there’s been a car accident! … We found our son in the pool … please help us! … We need an ambulance … I think my husband’s having a heart attack! … My wife can’t breathe and she’s turning blue! Many of us have experienced terrifying moments like those at one time or another. In modern times, amazingly quick responses are the norm from fire and EMS personnel directed by information received at county emergency service centers.
Until several decades ago, those positions were nearly all filled by men. But for much of the twentieth century, most rural areas lacked coordination of services. A vital cog in emergency situations back then was the local switchboard operator, who was nearly always a woman. In almost every instance where policemen and/or firemen were needed, the telephone operator was key to obtaining a good outcome. She was the de facto emergency services coordinator of yesteryear.
Her importance during times of crisis was often overlooked, with most of the glory going to policemen and firemen capturing criminals, rescuing victims, and saving lives. But emergency personnel and telephone-company executives were aware of the vital role operators played on a daily basis. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will host Helen Martin on April 25th at 6:30 pm to present, “The Ultimate Rift: Evolution within the Women’s Suffrage Movement.” Martin will discuss the evolution in the movement and the role of Johnstown native Elizabeth Cady Stanton in securing women the right to vote.
The presentation will focus on suffrage efforts and the ultimate rift between the “old guard” and the younger generation of suffragists who became involved. It will cover how women in New York gained suffrage three years before the entire nation did, and this program will discuss the attention paid to as well as credit given to the younger group at that time; partially because so many of the “old guard” had passed away prior to the passage of suffrage in NY State in 1917. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, Sam Maggs discusses her book on women who
made often unheralded contributions to history, Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History. On part two of the podcast Bob Cudmore and Dave Greene discuss the story of a debutante spy for America during World War II, Gertrude Sanford Legendre.
Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum continues with We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85.
Focusing on the work of more than forty black women artists from an under-recognized generation, the exhibition highlights a group of artists who committed themselves to activism during a period of profound social change marked by the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, the Women’s Movement, the Anti-War Movement, and the Gay Liberation Movement, among others. Continue reading
During Women’s History Month the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark and the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro will be finalizing plans for commemorating the New York State Centennial of Women’s Suffrage. These two heritage organizations will collaborate with partners on programs that celebrate local history and its connection to the state’s and nation’s history. Continue reading
Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region will hold its 16th annual public history convention, Liberty Con 2017 – Americans@Risk: Race, Denial, privilege, and Who Matters, on March 24 to 25 at Schenectady County Community College and on March 26 at The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence in Albany.
Attendees will be able to explore race relations, gender issues, immigration reform, white privilege, and religion, and their relationship with American history. As well as dialogue about action responses through a series of workshops, roundtable conversations, and keynote speakers. Continue reading