Hazel MacKaye (photo above) was riding high in 1914 when her pageant, “The American Woman: Six Periods of American Life” was performed at the Seventy-first Regimental Armory (sponsored by the New York City Men’s League for Equal Suffrage). It was a cutting-edge production that milked the potential for drama and social commentary. Edna Buckman Kearns was involved, not only in the event’s organization, but also the performance.
Suffrage pageants reached different audiences than parades and demonstrations. They represented an emotional training ground for later forms of protest, such as the picketing of the White House in 1917. The picketing of the Woodrow Wilson White House was launched following the death of Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr.
This year, 2016, is the centennial of Milholland’s death. Find out more about her on the centennial web site. Become a partner in the centennial observance. The Inez Milholland Centennial is a program of the National Women’s History Project. The national co-chairs are Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr.
Support funding for the 2017 suffrage centennial in New York State. Watch for the release of the Inez Milholland film in April 2016. Get behind the New York State Museum in putting the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Kearns on permanent exhibit. Sign the online petititon asking that President Obama grant a presidential citizens medal to Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr.
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“Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.