August 2020 marks the National Women’s Suffrage Centennial and to celebrate, we invite you to climb aboard the digitally delivered Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour!
This eight-episode video series explores our state’s connections to the larger national history of women’s suffrage, and honors Washington’s women changemakers who led the way then as well as those who continue to do so today. It is thematically based on the real life 1909 “Suffrage Special” train which carried local and national suffragists across the country and through Washington State from Spokane to Seattle in support of women’s fight for the vote.
Ride along withthe Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour! We’re posting one segment daily from August 19-26 on the Historical Society and Votes for Women Suffrage Centennial Facebook pages. We’ll also add the segments to the accordion below.@washingtonhistory @suffrage100wa
Did you know… Washington women permanently won the right to vote in 1910 (after several previous wins and losses of the right), ten years before national women’s suffrage was enacted.
What was the “Suffrage Special?” Suffragists from across the country were headed to the National Suffrage Convention, held in Seattle in 1909. The train many of them were on was dubbed the “Suffrage Special.” It arrived in Washington State in Spokane and made stops en route to Seattle, gathering more suffragists along the way.
The 1909 National Suffrage Convention was–not coincidentally–held at the same time as the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYPE). It was an important time in the fight for women’s suffrage and savvy suffragists took advantage of the significant visibility afforded by AYPE to promote their cause.
What’s happening with the video segments? The video series will make eight virtual “whistle stops” with one video segment posted each day from August 19 through 26, 2020. Each whistle stop segment will be hosted by a local historical organization and will explore women’s suffrage history and its legacy in their geographic region, as well as ties to national women’s suffrage efforts.
August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, the date that the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920.