New York State Capitol gets behind 2017 women’s suffrage centennial: Suffrage Wagon Cafe
NYS Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul launched the 100th anniversary of women voting in the state by announcing the Women’s Suffrage Commission’s website: www.ny.gov/suffrage. It provides information about upcoming events across the state, profiles New York suffragists, and draws attention to historic destinations relevant to the suffrage movement and women’s rights.
“This month, we celebrate the critical role that New York played in the fight for a woman’s right to vote from the Seneca Falls Convention all the way to the passage of the Women’s Equality Agenda in 2015 because in New York we know that women’s rights are human rights,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage all New Yorkers and visitors alike to visit one of these exhibits and trace the historic timeline that New York’s women pioneered and to learn about the obstacles that they conquered in the fight for equality.”
New York was home to the first-ever Women’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, on July 19 and 20, 1848 and organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Sixty-nine years later, on Nov. 6, 1917, women in New York State won the right to vote.
THE LEGACY OF SENECA FALLS, NEW YORK
“New York women have an enduring legacy in the pursuit of equal rights that began nearly 170 years ago in Seneca Falls, and as a result of their advocacy this state passed women’s suffrage three years before the rest of the nation. This year we celebrate the accomplishments of the women who led the fight for equality, setting the stage for future battles against workplace discrimination, in support of pay equity, and to preserve a woman’s right to make decisions about her health care,” said NYS Women’s Suffrage Commission Chair, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “As the state’s highest ranking elected woman, I consider it my mission to inspire the next generation of women to rise up and shape a more just, equitable society.”
The 14-member NYS Women’s Suffrage Commission chaired by Kathy Hochul, will plan and execute a series of statewide programs starting in 2017 and lasting through 2020.
As part of New York’s recognition of Women’s History Month, a number of exhibits will be available for public viewing in both the Empire State Plaza and the New York State Capitol Building. The exhibit “Women’s Suffrage in New York State,” located in the Capitol corridor which connects the state house to the Empire State Plaza, includes imagery of pro- and anti-suffrage propaganda with historic photographs of the women who organized and marched until the vote was won.
“SPIRIT OF 1776” SUFFRAGE WAGON ON VIEW ON SECOND FLOOR OF STATE CAPITOL
The exhibit, “New York State Women’s Suffrage 1917 – 2017 | The Fight for the Vote and the March for Full Equality,” is located in the East Gallery on the second floor of the Capitol and traces the almost 70-year struggle for the vote. The exhibit highlights the lives of 12 influential Suffragists and the critical role they played in securing the vote by African Americans and working women. This month-long exhibit features the “Spirit of 1776” wooden suffrage wagon in which a Long Island suffragist edna Kearns and her eight-year-old daughter traveled throughout Long Island and Manhattan during the summer of 1913 to gather support for votes for women, a 1917 banner carried by suffragists, as well as Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 1854 address to the New York State Legislature.
One of the highlights of the New York State Capitol is the Great Western Staircase featuring a gallery of historic Americans brought to life in elaborate stone carvings. As the staircase was nearing completion, it was observed that not one famous woman was represented. Located in the area just outside the Empire State Plaza Visitor Center and Gift Shop this exhibit will feature photographs of the six carvings of women that were added to the staircase: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, Frances E. Willard, Molly Pitcher, Elmina Spencer, and Susan B. Anthony. Also on view outside the Visitor Center is the mural Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad created by students from the Monroe Community College Art Department in Rochester, NY.
STATE CAPITOL TOURS FEATURING SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT ARE A HIGHLIGHT
Throughout March, special one-hour Capitol tours focusing on the suffrage movement are available to visitors. The tours feature artifacts selected to showcase the suffragists’ journey. For more information about the Capitol tours, visit www.empirestateplaza.org.
Stop by Suffrage Wagon Cafe for special programs.
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