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League of Women Voters delivers vote of thanks for century of suffrage

Members of the Wood County League of Women Voters watch the movie “One Woman One Vote” at the Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library on Saturday. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

PARKERSBURG — The local chapter of the League of Women Voters took time Saturday to celebrate 100 years since victory.

The chapter shows an educational movie each year that talks about causes they support.

“This year we want to take time to remember those who came before us and fought for the rights we have now,” said June Rhodes, a member of the Wood County League of Women Voters.

The league showed the movie “One Woman One Vote” at the Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library on Saturday. The movie discussed many of the major points in U.S. history of the women’s suffrage movement, starting with Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s famous Seneca Falls call to arms and continuing through to the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which granted women voting rights.

The movie focused on multiple women in history who were leaders and impacted the movement including Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Lucy Stone and Carrie Chapman Catt. Catt later went on to found the first League of Women Voters.

The Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library has a recommended book display of books that talk about the women’s suffrage movement. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

“The passage of the 19th Amendment enfranchised 26 million American women in time for the 1920 general election, but the turnout for the November 1920 election was 36 percent for women and 68 percent for men,” said Jane Burdette, a member of the Wood County League of Women Voters.

“Obviously the League of Women Voters had work to do,” she said.

Burdette mentioned that while this year marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment passed, African American women were excluded from voting in many states until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1962.

“I think it is important to remember the struggles that groups go through to see change in our government, and realize how long it can take to see change,” said Charmaine Dotson, president of the Wood County League of Women Voters.

“Seeing change may take time, but when groups come together they have the power to stir up and bring forward those changes,” she said.

The Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library set up a display of ads used in the early 1900s during the women’s suffrage movement. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com

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