Susan B. Anthony and Marion H. Skidmore on the porch steps of Marion's cottage
On November 5th, 1917, Carrie Chapman Catt pleaded with New York Times readers to vote for women's suffrage: "Remember that our country is fighting for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government. Vote for woman's suffrage, because it is part of the struggle towards democracy."
The next day, women in New York State were granted the right to vote in all elections. Three years later, the 19th amendment would be ratified, guaranteeing all women nationwide the right to vote.
Suffragettes and musicians outside the Women's Tent at an early Women's Day
August 27th, 2017 marks the centennial anniversary of women's suffrage. And in order to celebrate, Lily Dale, NY "will be decked out in traditional suffrage bunting in white, gold, and purple" from June 30th - September 3rd. On Women's Day, August 27th, guests can experience a historical recreation of "the early days of women's suffrage in Lily Dale"; a women's suffrage march and parade; a Victorian cosplay contest; horse-drawn carriage tours of Lily Dale; vendors and refreshments; an all-female barbershop quartet; and a professional re-enactment of Women's Day speeches by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Marion H. Skidmore.
The Maplewood Hotel stills looks very much as it originally did today
Skidmore was the first to bring the Women's Day celebration to Lily Dale in 1887, after organizing a Women's Suffrage Club at Cassadaga. Skidmore's efforts attracted the attention of leading suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, who spoke to a Lily Dale audience of 3,000 for the first time in 1891. Not a single person booed. Feminist leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anna Shaw, and Carrie Chapman Catt also made political appearances in Lily Dale.
Thanks to a passionate committee of local women, Women's Day will return to Lily Dale this summer.
Thousands of people in attendance to see Susan B. Anthony speak at Women's Day in Lily Dale, NY
Check out the Lily Dale Women's Day event here.
Book your hotel stay here.
All photos courtesy of lilydaleassembly.com
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Olivia Loperfido is an English and psychology major at New York University's College of Arts and Sciences, and the junior editor of NYU's Mercer Street (2017-'18). She enjoys spending time with her dogs and tortoise, watching RuPaul's Drag Race, and contacting her state representatives. Follow her on Instagram here and contact her via email here.