Film Screening to Mark 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in New York

October 16 2017
Category: Events

Makers Film

Throughout the month of October, Elmira College is partnering with Community Arts of Elmira and the YWCA Elmira and the Twin Tiers to present three events that celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in New York State.

The second event, a film screening hosted by the YWCA Elmira and the Twin Tiers, is this Wednesday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m.

The event will feature a film titled, “Awakening,” which was the first installment of the critically acclaimed PBS documentary, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, which told the story of the modern American women’s movement.

This film shares the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, women asserting their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy.

In response to this event, and to help mark 100 years of women’s suffrage in New York, we asked our faculty to share some history and insights into women’s rights, women’s suffrage, as well as Elmira College’s connection to the overall movement.

Today, we hear from Dr. Robert Shephard, the Leonard Tydings Grant Professor of History at Elmira College. He has been teaching history and women’s studies at EC since 1987.

“The U.S. Constitution left it up to the states to set voting requirements, so women gained the right to vote in some states well before the 19th Amendment guaranteed that right to all women, starting with the Wyoming Territory in 1869.  The challenge, of course, was getting all-male electorates or legislatures to approve women's suffrage.

An amendment to the New York State constitution granting women the right to vote failed in 1915.  But the suffragists persisted.  Following a massive door-to-door canvassing campaign and a petition drive that gathered the signatures of over a million women, the amendment passed by a wide margin in November 1917.  Women in New York State could finally vote.”