Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ladies Gallery Dedication at The Statehouse

Yesterday the women of Ohio gathered in front of "The Peoples House," (The Ohio Statehouse) to re-enact the 1914 photo of women suffragettes rallying for the right to vote.

In 1922 six women were elected to the Ohio legislature, two years after demanding the right to vote. 89 years later, Ohio ranks a pathetic 41st among the states for women's representation in Government, with only 17% of our statewide elected officials being women. The national average hovers precariously at 22%, a number that dropped from a mere 24% in recent years.

In honor of the brave Ohio Suffragettes who risked jail and ridicule for the right to vote and run for elected office, The Capital Square Review and Advisory board raised $264,000 to dedicate The Ladies Gallery as a permanent exhibition in The Ohio Statehouse. The ceremony featured comments by Jo Ann Davidson, the first female speaker of the Ohio House, as well as a re-creation of a famous July 30, 1914, photo taken when more than 5,000 suffragettes rallied at the Statehouse for the right to vote.

Ohio ratified the 19th Amendment on June 16, 1919, 12 days after Congress sent the proposal to the states. Final ratification took another year nationally, however, and women got the right to vote in 1920. It took two years for them to reach state government.

Gregg Dodd, spokesman for the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, said "The enduring goal is to inform and inspire all who visit -- especially young women and girls -- to take an active role in democracy."

The display includes an interactive kiosk, artifacts, photos, banners and other items that tell the story of the first women legislators and the history of the suffrage movement in Ohio.
For more information visit

It was a great-grand day. Enjoy the photos!

Many great women leaders from both parties were there, standing united. Ahhh, a refreshing sight indeed.

But the little woman who stole the show was clearly Miss Tristen Davis, a child of only tender years, who got up on a box in order to be tall enough to reach the microphone and read the 19th amendment. She was adorable.

The girls from OHIO GO RUN political training camp were there in force sporting their White House Project GO RUN LEAD t-shirts. Over 100 Ohio women participated in the camp last month, with the goal of electing more women to public office. Currently the Central Ohio chapter of the group is focused on the November election of Julie Houston for Delaware County Recorder.

For some additional light reading entertainment on the important subject of women's representation, click this link for an essay by Marie Wilson:
Carpe Diem Ladies!

1 comment:

Virginia Harris said...

Wow! What a fantastic site! Thank you so much for honoring the ladies who brought us the women's vote!

Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

I'd like to share a women's history learning opportunity...

"The Privilege of Voting" is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 - 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

It's a real-life soap opera about the suffragettes! And it's ALL true!

Powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses, First Lady Edith Wilson, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan and Alice Roosevelt.

There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women have voices and choices!

Exciting, sequential episodes with lots of historical photos are great to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

I hope you will subscribe -- it's free at