#19 SuffrageStories . . .

Copyright the Smithson

There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” Susan B. Anthony



 

The Smithsonian, Library of Congress and the National Archives have launched #19SuffrageStories, a nineteen-day social media campaign that is sharing stories about the long fight for women’s voting rights in the United States.  They started posting on August 3 and will continue posting through Aug. 26 as a count-down to Women’s Equality Day Aug. 26, this coming Wednesday. The institutions have also released a set of social media stickers and GIFs to encourage the public to join the conversation.

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted, declaring that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex. However, for many women, especially women of color, the fight for the right to vote continued long after the amendment became law. The stories of the diverse communities and organizations that fought for equal voting rights are not shared widely today. To mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, these three leading cultural institutions have joined forces to share lesser-known stories about the fight for women’s suffrage. Using items from their collections, they are sharing stories spanning from the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 through events in the 1960s to provide a broad look into the history of women and voting.

The countdown began on Aug. 3 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which is held at the National Archives. The public is invited to examine this landmark document on Twitter and Instagram and consider its significance. New stories will be revealed every weekday, with the countdown closing Aug. 26. The public is invited to follow the countdown on social media and on the web:

Additional information about the stories shared each day will be available on the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative blog and the Library of Congress and National Archives websites.

To coincide with the campaign, the organizations are also releasing a set of 10 voting-inspired social media stickers and GIFs. Instagram users can add a historic sash sticker to their selfies or add the words of suffragists Ida B. Wells, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin and Mabel Ping-Hua Lee to their posts. To add the stickers on Instagram, users can create an Instagram Story, click on the sticker icon and search for #19SuffrageStories. Animated GIFs of the stickers are also available through GIPHY for use on Twitter or other social media platforms. The full set of GIFs can be found online, and descriptions of the stickers can be found in this blog post about the #19SuffrageStories campaign.

The three institutions are also collaborating in August on a 19th Amendment virtual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. The public is invited to make nineteen edits to Wikipedia pages throughout the month of August to help expand the coverage of the women’s suffrage movement online. Virtual trainings will be held every Tuesday and Thursday in August, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. ET. The public can register for the trainings on Eventbrite, no experience required.

The Smithsonian, Library of Congress and the National Archives remain largely closed to the public due to the coronavirus (the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center reopened July 24). More information about the operating status of these organizations is available on their respective websites.

This post is courtesy of the following institutions:

The Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of nineteen museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers and libraries. There are more than 6,300 Smithsonian employees and 6,900 volunteers. There were more than twenty-two million visits to the Smithsonian in 2019. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History.

The United States Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

The National Archives

The National Archives is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our government, so people can discover, use and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. These holdings include the original 19th Amendment and extensive documentation of the struggle for Women’s Suffrage.


Jamie Dedes:

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“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Lost Gardeners, a poem by John Anstie; spotlight on the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Northern Summerhouse garden at the Lost Gardens of Heligan courtesy of Heinz-Dirk Luckhardt CC BY-SA 3.0

“This intoxicating mixture of history and place was powerful enough to compel me to write this in their memory.” John Anstie



There was such colour and bustle
where now reflective calm.

In the thunderbox room
nearby the melon yard
haunting echoes of silent voices

once green fingers that pressed
a trigger for King and country
gently call from an early grave,
who once scattered humus here.

They shed tears for weeds
that stained the fresh leaves
of Spring, unfolding, unseen

cold frames of mouth-blown glass,
warmed the summer fare
that meant so much to those
who dug one last trench

so many lost at such a cost
shovelling cold organic mud
to sow the seeds of future green
in very unmilitary drills

and who would say what
could have been had peace
been thoughtfully nurtured
like the fruits of this place.

Inundated by nature’s mission
their names forever bleeding
from these crumbling walls

so few in the flesh of then
left much in the earth of now.

Originally published on The BeZine blog. John is a member of the Zine core team.

© 2019 John Anstie

A visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom, revealed to me a very poignant story of its gardeners, 16 out of 22 of whom lost their lives in the First World War; of the gardens, which subsequently fell into ruin until the 1990’s when a descendant of the original owners set about restoring them to become one of the UK’s most popular botanical gardens. The scene is set around the ‘thunderbox’ room where they would carve the names in the walls as they sat and the very peaceful garden adjacent to it, where you can feel the history of this particular part of the gardens, which had almost completely succumbed to nature’s will. This intoxicating mixture of history and place was powerful enough to compel me to write this in their memory. / John Anstie



Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

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“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Warrior Woman, a poem by Clarissa Simmens

Hervor, Shieldmaiden by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831-1892) / Public Domain illustration

“The most famous type of mortal warrior woman known from the sagas is the shieldmaiden, who is mirrored in the spiritual realm of the afterlife by the Valkyries. The shieldmaiden was allegedly a woman who took up arms and armor and fought in battle alongside men.” Ten Legendary Female Viking Warriors, Ancient History Encyclopedia



Your pain was not in vain
Found buried with a horse, spear
Shield, battle axe and arrows
Proof that women could overcome fear
Fiercely loving and defending
Family and friends.
Over the centuries
Women have been leashed and silenced
Corseted, drugged, beaten, ignored
Treated like family pets
Teetering on stiletto heels
Emotions wrapped in woman-made steel.
But you, you did what must be done
Yes, silenced too young
But I look at you and know
Women were not made to only
Cook and sew
We are strong and brave
Created to carry life and
Therefore to save
All we love and care for.
And I say to you
Warrior Woman
Role model
Excavated from a farm
Your pain was not in vain…

© 2019, Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

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CLARISSA SIMMENS (Poeturja) is an independent poet; Romani drabarni (herbalist/advisor); ukulele and guitar player; wannabe song writer; and music addict. Favorite music genres include Classic Rock, Folk, Romani (Gypsy), and Cajun with an emphasis on guitar and violin music mainly in a Minor key. Find her onAmazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE.

Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.



Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton