On Thursday, Oct. 17 the San Luis Valley Museum Association will be hosting guest speaker Jillian Allison from History Colorado to talk about the Women’s Vote Centennial Colorado (WVCC) which will commemorate the Centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020. The presentation will be held at the Transportation of the West Museum at 916 First Ave. in Monte Vista at 11 a.m. The WVCC program is a comprehensive statewide effort to examine the importance of voting in our democracy.
Last August 26 on Women’s Equality Day, the Colorado Governor, representatives of History Colorado, and the newly formed WVCC program made history on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol when they kicked off the commemoration of the 19th Amendment which happened on August 26, 1920. On the anniversary of the largest voting-rights expansion in U.S. history, August’s event launched a full year of educational programming, community engagement, and partnerships in all 64 Colorado counties. And next Thursday the Centennial celebration is coming to the San Luis Valley!
Allison will also discuss how local residents, groups, or organizations interested in organizing an event or exhibit can get involved. History Colorado, the state agency leading the initiative, announced inclusive, historic opportunities for Coloradans to participate, join grassroots efforts, and honor the bold individuals who fought for female voting rights. These events will take place in 2020.
“We want this work to live on and to create a buzz within every Colorado community. It is only through partnerships and collaboration that we can reach individuals statewide with messages, programs, and experiences that explore the journey and struggle to achieve voting rights,” said Dawn DiPrince, chief operating officer of History Colorado. “We want to provide educational touchpoints and help tell these untold stories that bridge history with modern-day Colorado.”
History Colorado invites interested organizations and individuals across the state to collaborate together to create space and events for civic engagement, commemoration, impact, and support. Statewide partnerships between local museums, libraries, clubs, schools, arts organizations and individuals in communities will provide settings for suffrage-related events and dialogue.
In 1893, Colorado was the first state to outlaw, via state referendum, denying citizens the right to vote based on their sex. This took place more than 25 years before the national women’s suffrage act was signed into law on Aug. 26, 1920. The trailblazing collaborative fight for women’s voting rights changed the course of history in Colorado and continues to inspire social, economic, political and cultural advancements today.
“As the first state to give women the right to vote by popular referendum, Colorado has a lot to be proud of and a lot to commemorate,” said Cathey M. Finlon, chair of the Colorado Women’s Vote Centennial Commission. “We also have the opportunity to understand what brought this vote to pass — the coalitions, the economic anxieties, the societal situations that came together to achieve this momentous result. We will call attention to Colorado’s important role in the national movement for the women’s vote while inspiring new action and research.”
About History Colorado
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. The charitable organization and historical agency serves as the state’s memory, preserving the places, stories and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, a public research library, collections, and outreach to Colorado communities. History Colorado has become a force for finding new and inclusive ways to serve Coloradans.
With eight museums around the state, History Colorado shares the cultures and stories that define Colorado’s past and present, including History Colorado Center (Denver); Center for Colorado Women’s History at Byers-Evans House (Denver); El Pueblo History Museum (Pueblo); Trinidad History Museum (Trinidad); Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center (Fort Garland); Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin (Leadville); Ute Indian Museum (Montrose); and Fort Vasquez (Platteville). Visit HistoryColorado.org or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.