Upstate New York, where Inez Milholland lived and was buried, is the central point in the continuing effort to honor the U.S. suffrage martyr. A special program and showing of the film, “Forward into Light,” was held on March 31, 2017 at the Whallonsburg Grange near Lewis, New York.
The program included a viewing of Martha Wheelock’s 15-minute documentary “Forward into Light,” followed by a discussion led by author/historian Sandra Weber. As the herald on a white horse in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, Inez Milholland symbolized the strength, power, and courage of women. Three years later, she died while campaigning for votes for women and became the martyr and inspiration for U.S. suffragists. For information about upcoming programs and events, contact email@example.com
In the second half of the program, local women and men presented short vignettes about several New York women who persisted despite the odds against them. Audience members were encouraged to add their favorite women. They joined in singing tributes to them.
For more information about the Inez Milholland initiative from now through 2020, the national suffrage centennial, follow SuffrageCentennials.com The national centennial observance of Milholland’s death during 2016 was a special project of the National Women’s History Project with Marguerite Kearns and Bob Cooney as co-chairs.
The New York State Education Department and the Office of Cultural Education will present a large-scale exhibition and companion catalog titled, Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial, at the New York State Museum between November 4, 2017 and May 13, 2018. Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr, will be one of many activists featured in the exhibition.
Votes for Women will celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State and raise public awareness of the struggle for women’s suffrage and equal rights from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention through 1917 when New York State granted women the right to vote. The exhibition will also address the nationally significant role of New York State leaders in regards to women’s rights and the feminist movement through the early 21st century.
For information about the film, “Forward into Light,” produced by Martha Wheellock, visit the film’s web site: InezMilholland.org The coverage of Milholland continues as a feature of the National Women’s History Project that sponsored the centennial of her death during 2016. The work to spread the word about Milholland’s contributions continues on InezMilhollandCentennial.com Events and celebrations continue from now through 2020, the national centennial of women voting in the United States.
There’s plenty of time to plan an event, reception, party, or fundraiser for your organization or friends. An event honoring Inez Milholland, America’s suffrage martyr (1886-1916) is easy because there’s a 15 minute film that will round out your program. Visit the web site of filmmaker Martha Wheelock to find out how you can get your copy. And then start a “to do” list about your program and what goodies you will serve. Check out the Inez Milholland Centennial web site for resources and a report on the 2016 Inez Milholland observance.
There’s more to come relative to Inez Milholland. Hundreds of New York women honored her on January 21, 2017 as part of the nationwide women’s march “sister” events. A highway marker, funded by the Pomeroy Foundation, will be installed near her grave in Lewis, NY during 2017. Milholland will be acknowledged in the “Votes for Women” suffrage exhibition at the New York State Museum that opens in early November 2017 in Albany, NY. And Inez is a highlight of an exhibit at the Adirondack History Museum in upstate New York this year. Details to be announced.
Audio in video from Doris Stevens, “Jailed for Freedom” (1920). Reading fron Librovox. Edit by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.
Today, the name Inez Milholland is familiar to more Americans than ever before. It has appeared on buttons, signs, tee shirts, sashes, exhibits, marquees and more this past year. The increased public awareness is due at least in part to the year-long Inez Milholland Centennial campaign that began in late 2015 under the auspices of the National Women’s History Project.
The campaign set out to raise the profile of Inez, a prominent New York suffragist and attorney who became a symbol of the work and sacrifice that went into winning Votes for Women 100 years ago. Inez was only thirty when she died in Los Angeles after a grueling 1916 speaking tour for equal suffrage. Her death of exhaustion and pernicious anemia saddened, angered and inspired women throughout the country. Her fellow suffragists started picketing the White House on January 10, 1917, just weeks after her memorial in the U.S. Capitol.
In addition to their educational work, Centennial project co-chairs Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney Jr. set in motion the nomination of Inez for a Presidential Citizens Medal. Their online petition drew over 1,000 signatures supporting her nomination.
“Although President Obama didn’t recognize Inez – or anyone else – with a Presidential Citizens Medal in 2016,” Kearns noted, “we succeeded in bringing the past, present, and future together. Inez’s memory is alive again.” Kearns is a writer specializing in women’s history and the granddaughter of suffrage activist Edna Kearns, whose suffrage campaign wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” will be on exhibit at the New York State Museum during 2017 (SuffrageWagon.org).
“Our work continues to honor Inez and all American suffragists so they can take their rightful place in history,” said Cooney, author of “Remembering Inez,” a tribute to the suffrage martyr, and “Winning the Vote,” a suffrage history. “We are heartened by the warm reception and high-profile publicity Inez received.”
The Centennial project’s goal was substantially enhanced by filmmaker Martha Wheelock, who created a 15-minute film, “Forward Into Light,” on Inez. Martha has already distributed the DVD free to thousands of individuals, community organizations, policymakers and educators (InezMilholland.org).
The Centennial web site (InezMilhollandCentennial.com) will continue to offer information, news and resources as we approach 2020, the nation’s suffrage centennial. New York is celebrating its suffrage centennial in 2017 since women in that state won the vote in 1917 after a hard fought campaign. As a New Yorker who campaigned for Votes for Women for many years, Inez will draw additional attention to the heroic drive for American women’s voting rights.
The National Women’s History Project (nwhp.org) is a 501(c)3 organization that has been educating the public for more than 35 years about the importance of including women in American history.
Recognizing Inez’s role leading the first inaugural women’s march in the nation’s capitol, the NWHP became a sponsor of the Women’s March on Washington in 2017. The NWHP has launched the Women’s History Alliance (nwhp.org/the-womens-history-alliance/) to bring together the increasing number of supporters interested in specific programs that honor multicultural women in the United States.