August 26 marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, became law. The success of this Amendment was more than 75 years in the making as multiple generations of women fought for voting equality. To celebrate the anniversary and to commemorate the struggle, a group of local women will host two free events on Wednesday the 26th.
At 9:30 a.m. at North Cemetery (65 Old Sudbury Road, Route 27), a group will gather at the gravestone of Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880). Child was an early advocate for women’s suffrage and famously wrote, “Woman stock is rising in the market. I shall not live to see women vote, but I’ll come and rap on the ballot box.” In addition to honoring Child’s advocacy for gender and racial equality, we will remember the newly registered Wayland women voters of the era. At the event and throughout the day, all are welcome to stop by Child’s grave to leave a flower of commemoration. A display about Child and the 75-year-long struggle will remain at the graveside throughout the day. When visiting the graveside, please wear a mask and maintain a six-foot social distance.
At 4:00 p.m., an online panel will share some of the fascinating stories of Wayland women who were dedicated advocates for women’s suffrage. The timeslot honors the role of “suffrage teas,” which generated support and funds for the cause. Panelists include Jane Sciacca, historical researcher; Kevin Delaney, Chair of Wayland High School History Department; Mary Antes, League of Women Voters of Wayland; and more. Speakers will discuss Wayland women who registered to vote and served on school committee in the 1890s as well as Wayland suffragist Jessica Henderson, an uncompromising activist of national repute. First Parish in Wayland will host the Zoom. For more information, please visit tinyurl.com/WaylandAugust26 to register for the Zoom link.
Organizers for the events include Jane Sciacca, historical researcher; Mary Antes, League of Women Voters of Wayland; Kay Gardner-Westcott, Wayland Historical Commission; and the Rev. Dr. Stephanie May, First Parish in Wayland.