As our centennial year winds down, we thought it would be fun to count down 19 incredible events, discoveries and moments from our commemoration. Through 2020’s many twists and turns, Hoosiers found ways to mark the suffrage centennial.Here are 19 highlights in honor of the 19th Amendment:
- Indiana’s commemoration kicks off at the Statehouse.On Jan.16 hundreds of people joined Commission Chair Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch to mark the 100thanniversary of the day Indiana ratified the 19th Amendment. We dedicated a new plaque marking the offices suffragists used during their long battle for the vote and unanimous resolutions marking the occasion were passed in the Indiana House and Senate. This video captures some of the day’s highlights.
- We Must Be Fearless: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Indiana is published.Dr. Anita Morgan’s research on the 69-year movement to guarantee women’s right to vote was critical for helping Hoosiers understand our sometimes inspiring, sometimes frustrating, always complicated past.
- Suffrage Block Party goes virtual, engages thousands.What a week: 16 organizations presented 40+ events attended by 4,390 people and reaching more than 100,000 afterwards. If you missed something or want to revisit a conversation, all the event recordings are now on our website.
- Preserving Women’s Legacy Grantees are revealed. Three communities, Angola, Michigan City and Peru, will erect permanent artworks, statues and trail signage to mark the contributions of women in their community. Discover these projects, which honor suffragists like Sojourner Truth, Naomi Bowman Talbert Anderson, Marie Stuart Edwards and more.
- New artworks are unveiled.“Together” by Indianapolis artist Kassie Woodworth and “nINeteenth” by Decatur artist Shelby Nower will become part of the state’s permanent art collection.
- New discoveries about Indiana’s Black suffragists are uncovered. Dr. Anita Morgan received one of four May Wright Sewall Fellowships to research stories of women like Carrie Barnes Ross and Frances Berry Coston. Her early findings were featured in this Indianapolis Star article and in this Suffrage Block Party talk.
- Indiana scholar compiles 100 years of data on women voters. Dr. Christina Wolbrecht of Notre Dame published a landmark book, A Century of Votes for Women, dispelling myths about the participation of women in the electorate.
- The Policy Circle goes big for suffrage.The Policy Circle published a special brief on the women’s suffrage movement in Indiana and launched it with a special event featuring Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, First Lady Janet Holcomb and others at the Indiana Historical Society, along with the unveiling of a new commemorative artwork by Walter Knabe.
- “Securing the Vote” travels the state.Thanks to Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the Indiana Women’s Suffrage Commission, two copies of Indiana Historical Society’s new traveling exhibit about the Indiana suffrage movement have been touring the state since mid-2019. Learn how to book it here.
- Monroe County suffragists come into focus.Hilary Fleck, one of our May Wright Sewall Fellows, uncovered the names and stories of Bloomington-area suffrage activists. Learn some of their stories here or pop by the Monroe County History Center to see a special exhibit through March 2021.
- UIndy’s Fairbanks Symposium focuses on women in civic leadership. Read a recap of the day, which featured Mel Raines, Deborah Daniels, Angela Smith Jones, Kathy Cabello, Rima Shahid, Laura M. Wilson, Anne Hathaway, Kristin Jones, Amy Levander and Adrienne Slash.
- We Wait. debuts at the Harrison Center.Artist Gigi Salij’s moving series of portraits, ruminating on the long wait for the right to vote and the familiar scene of election day lines, debuted in March.
- The stories of Anderson suffragists get shared. Local researchers discovered the fascinating connections between the Spiritualists and the women’s suffrage movement.
- A new Grace Julian Clarke marker is unveiled. Jackie Swihart, a member of our speakers bureau who wrote her master’s thesis on Clarke, raised money for a new historic marker in Irvington, which was unveiled in November.
- South Bend-area suffragists star in a new exhibit. Dr. Jamie Wagman, another of our May Wright Sewall Fellows and history professor at Saint Mary’s College, worked with her students to develop a new exhibit on Michiana suffragists. It’s on display through March 21 at The History Museum of South Bend.
- Indiana curator tells the story of suffrage through historical objects.Jessica Jenkins, a historian and curator at Muncie’s Minnetrista museum, published Exploring Women’s Suffrage Through 50 Historic Treasures.
- Muncie researchers dig into the archives. Ball State University librarians built an online exhibit which includes tantalizing glimpses of Black and white chapters of the Women’s Franchise League.
- Forgotten trailblazer gets her due. Dr. Laura M. Wilson and her UIndy student Karlee Taylor recovered the life and career of Hariette Bailey Conn, a pioneering Black woman from Indianapolis who served in the General Assembly and Lugar mayoral administration before being appointed the state’s public defender. Wilson and Taylor received a May Wright Sewall Fellowship to support their research.
- Historians gather to share new research on Hoosier women. In early March, the Hoosier Women at Work conference focused on how Indiana women have worked for suffrage and citizenship. More than 100 people attended to hear the latest historical findings on Indiana women. See the line-up here.
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Also, please join the state 100th Anniversary/Focus on Women’s Issues Committee!
If interested, contact Barb Schilling at email@example.com.