Peterson Station Museum exhibit honors Women’s Suffrage movement


TCR/SCOTT BESTUL Visitors to the Peterson Station Museum will be treated to a traveling display recognizing and honoring the women’s su rage movement. The twelve-panel display features facts and photos from the era and will be on display through June 24.
By : 
Kristin Burdey

Visitors to the Peterson Station Museum will have a unique opportunity to learn about one of America’s greatest achievements from the Progressive Era. A travelling exhibit honoring the women’s suffrage movement will be on display through June 24. Admission is free and the exhibit will be available for viewing during the museum’s hours of 11am-4pm.

The women’s suffrage movement was birthed at a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 at an event spearheaded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Though not the exact root of women’s rights, this event was generally recognized as a formal launching point for the movement once it was determined that in order to effect any meaningful change, women would have to gain the right to vote.

The voting rights battle was hard-fought by women across the nation, and two organizations played leading roles at the turn of the century; The National American Woman Suffrage Association, which employed primarily political means of advancing the cause, and the National Woman’s Party, a more militant organization that utilized unconventional methods to gain the attention of those in power.

The combined efforts of these two groups, as well as the contributions from local grassroots efforts, eventually led to passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. This amendment gave women the right to vote, and was the largest extension of voting rights in the history of the nation.

On a more local level, Minnesota was often near the front of the line when it came to extending rights. As far back as 1858 during the writing of the state constitution, consideration was given to allowing married women to vote. Though that did not happen at the time, Minnesota was the 15th state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment on September 8, 1919, years ahead of a number of other states.

Gail Boyum of Peterson was instrumental in securing the suffrage exhibit, and she encourages people to visit in order to gain an appreciation for the sacrifices made by our forbearers. “You can read about it or learn it in the classroom, pass a test and forget about it, but an exhibit like this really brings history to life,” Boyum said. “We don’t realize what it was like to not be able to vote or hold public office. Women had to rely on their husbands to voice their opinions.  What would life be like if we still lived that way? It’s time for women to revisit their roots. Whatever political affiliation you are, with the upcoming elections, women need to get out and use the right to vote that was so hard-fought for.”

The 12-panel exhibit details the history with pictures and narrative. The exhibit, which will be touring the state this year and next, is courtesy of the League of Women Voters (LWV), a non-partisan organization with thirty-five branches throughout the state, including a newly-formed group in Fillmore County.

According to the  LWV website, visitors to the exhibit will discover that: “Growing from the deep roots of the suffrage movement in the 19th century, Minnesota’s League of Women Voters uses a statewide network of local chapters to encourage informed and active participation in government, register and empower voters, work to increase understanding of public policy issues, cultivate women leaders, and influence public policy through education and advocacy.”

There will also be opportunities for the public to view suffragettes in authentic garb at the Gammel Dag parade and greeting visitors at the museum afterwards. Anyone who visits the museum during the period of exhibition will receive an authentic “Votes for Women” button free of charge. There will also be mannequins on display with authentic suffrage-era sashes.

Comments

Woman's suffrage is a joke. Men are physically positioned where they must decide every day whether woman are allowed to vote and murder children via abortion. Both sides buy into this cruel joke and play along to escape their God given responsibilities and their guilt for failing to do their duty.