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​ Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee marks 19th Amendment anniversary

Department of Arkansas Heritage - Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee (WSCCC) has had a very successful two years working to educate the public about the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right to vote to women.

Aug. 26 is the 100th anniversary of the amendment being added to the constitution. To mark that important date, Gov. Hutchinson issued a proclamation. In it he called upon all citizens to “reaffirm the vital importance of studying, understanding and commemorating the efforts of the women’s suffrage movement and the role of women in our democracy.” That evening the bridges in downtown Little Rock will be lit in purple, gold and white (the colors of the suffrage movement) to mark the occasion, and “HerFlag” by Marilyn Artus with the Arkansas stripe completed by Arkansas artist Virmarie DePoyster will be virtually unveiled at the Clinton Presidential Center. This week, the Governor’s Mansion has been lit in purple to mark the important date.

The commemoration committee, created in 2017 by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, developed a web site that served as a warehouse for information regarding the path to women’s suffrage in Arkansas and listed information about events celebrating the centennial anniversary of the 19thAmendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The signature project of the committee was to place yellow rose bushes and markers on public grounds, such as courthouses or libraries, across the state. Each of Arkansas’s 75 counties now has a rose bush commemorating the women’s suffrage movement. The placement of each bush provided the committee an opportunity to educate about the 19th Amendment.

Another important highlight for public education about women’s suffrage was the committee’s work with KUAR public radio to produce segments, “Suffrage in Sixty Seconds,” that expanded on a point about suffrage. These radio spots are archived as resources on the web site at www.ARvotesforwomen.com.

“I want to recognize each person who served on the committee and worked so hard to make this commemoration a success by shining a light on the work of those who sacrificed 100 years ago to earn the right for women to vote,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Thank you for your service.”

The Arkansas Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee is composed of nine members:
Kathleen Pate, Chair – Arkansas Women’s History Institute Representative
Stephanie Wade – Division of Arkansas Heritage Designee
David Ware – Arkansas State Historian, Arkansas State Archives
Kerry Moody – Arkansas Secretary of State Designee
Nell Matthews – League of Women Voters of Arkansas Representative
Shari Silzell – Women’s History Scholar Representative
Tracie Rushing – Governor Appointee
Christina Shutt – Governor Appointee
Ann Clemmer – Governor Appointee

The Arkansas Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee is proud to have promoted a state wide observation of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage through encouraging civic, historical, educational, economic, and other organizations across the state to organize and participate in activities to expand the understanding of women’s suffrage. The Committee wishes to thank Governor Asa Hutchinson and First Lady Susan Hutchinson, Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst and the Division of Arkansas Heritage, Secretary of State and Attorney General offices, County Judges and Clerks, League of Women Voters, Arkansas Women’s History Institute, KUAR public radio and Arkansas PBS for their support.