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Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

Women’s Suffrage, Women’s Rights

Women’s Suffrage, Women’s Rights


Exhibit Date:
Wednesday, July 18 2012

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Authentic clothing, memorabilia and artifacts from the last years of the National and California Women's Suffrage Movement, circa 1890s-1920. It was 85 years ago, on August 26th, 1920, that American women finally won the right to cast their ballot along with men.

According to Museum Historian, Dr. Sue Gonda, "this small museum boasts a large collection of important memorabilia. Among the many suffrage archives, is a khaki outfit from the 1910s that might have been worn by a suffragist activist who, according to its oral history, wore it while protesting President Wilson at the White House. We also have a collection of many "votes for women" buttons and badges, some of which even have tiny photos of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on them."

A 10 foot large wool banner, carried by suffragists in protest parades is one of our prized possessions. Our archives and the Internet are filled with women carrying such banners as they marched. We have extensive correspondence between national women suffrage leaders, including dozens of letters from Susan B. Anthony. Much of our suffragist archives came from the collection of Alice Park, a fascinating teacher and international activist who moved to California and became a leader in the movement. She saved agendas and handouts from suffrage meetings; pamphlets published by some anti-woman suffrage associations and lots of other wonderful propaganda items--both for and against women's suffrage. Park was also involved in the vegetarian movement at the turn-of-the-century--the one made popular by Kellogg and C. W. Post. Photographs, books and other memorabilia on display help remind us of the importance of this event in American history.