The following is an e-mail with details from Sue Broughton, the fantastic woman who heads up the Pittsburgh chapter of the LWV:
In July, 1848, a convention of about 260 women and about 40 men was held in Seneca Falls NY to organize a campaign to eliminate laws that made women’s property -- and the women themselves -- the legal property of their husbands. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, supported by the former slave Frederick Douglass, convinced the group that without the right to vote, no rights won by women would be secure. Thus was born the women’s suffrage movement. Only one signer of the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments issued by the convention lived long enough to cast her ballot. She was in her 90s by the time the right to vote was granted 72 years later in 1920.
History remembers the names of the women who started the movement, including Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. But it was finished by the next generation: women that many people have never heard of, among them Carrie Chapman Catt and Maude Wood Park. These women founded the League of Women Voters in 1920 to give newly enfranchised women some guidance in voting. The League began inviting men to join in 1974, and elected the first man to our national board in 2008 – our version of cracking the glass ceiling.
This year is the League’s 90th birthday. In Pittsburgh, the League will be celebrating in Mellon Square, downtown, from 11:30 to 1:30 on Women’s Equality Day, August 26th, the anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. In case of rain, we will move to the lobby of the Regional Enterprise Tower, 425 Sixth Ave. There will be period music (1920's to more recent), funky outfits and hats, refreshments, a few speeches, and information about voting and the League. A flyer about this event is attached. Everyone is welcome to come and help us celebrate 90 years of civic involvement.
I hope you will be able to drop in on this celebration.