(September 3, 2021) Maryland Women’s Heritage Center (MWHC) joined other women’s groups in August to celebrate the Women’s Equality Day Celebration across Maryland (WEDC) and the 101st anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Events took place in Baltimore City and as well as Garrett, Prince George’s, Allegany and Montgomery counties. Each location commemorated its own local suffragists and the history that took place there as women across the country fought to affirm their right to vote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  (The centennial celebration was postponed due to 2020’s COVID-19 issues.)

  • Upon arrival in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park on August 28, participants voted in a “special election day ballot” to make their voices heard on current issues such as making Women’s Equality Day a federal holiday and passing the Equal Rights Amendment.Exhibitors included the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and its Valiant Maryland Women: The Fight for Suffrage exhibit; the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum; and Baltimore NOW, where celebrants could select vintage hats, sashes and placards and pose as a suffragist in front of a life-size photo of Baltimore suffragists in 1912. See MWHC Executive Director talk to WBFF Fox 45 about the sprit of Women’s Equality Day.
  • In Garrett County’s Sang Run State Park, a ceremonial suffrage march led to an exhibit area of food vendors, voter registration booths, and family activities.During Women’s Monologues: Maryland Suffragists, organized by AAUW-Garrett Branch, local residents portrayed prominent suffragists who were residents of (or had an impact on) Garrett County, including hike leader “General” Edna Story Latimer, anti-suffragist Mary Frick Garrett and her pro-suffragist sister-in-law, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, and “suffragent” Frederick Douglass.The recently restored Sang Run Election House was also re-dedicated.
  • The Laurel Historical Society in Prince George’s County created exhibits on women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment, with a focus on local suffrage history. Visitors could also register to vote, sign the petition to make Women’s Equality Day a national holiday, and celebrate their voice and their vote.
  • Allegany County presented a film screening of Iron Jawed Angels, followed by a panel discussion about the movie, local suffrage history, the Equal Rights Amendment, and women’s rights today.
  • In Montgomery County, there were five-minute virtual presentations by a diverse and energetic group of speakers: Diane Fink: Getting More Women Elected; Hana O’Looney: Voting for the First Time; Nancy Navarro: The Balancing Act of Elected Women; Amena Johnson: The Importance of Women Voting; and Amanda Brown Lierman: The History and Significance of Women’s Equality Day. 

Women’s Equality Day Celebration across Maryland Coalition partners included a diverse group of coalition partners:

State-level media sponsors were The Maryland Daily Record and WYPR 88.1 FM. City and county partners and local sponsors supported each event.  

For more information about WEDC and the suffrage movement in Maryland, visit “WEDCacrossMD” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Women’s Equality Day Celebration across Maryland: http://facebook.com/WEDCacrossMD, http://instagram.com/WEDCacrossMD, http://twitter.com/WEDCacrossMD