July 19th and 20th of this year mark the 175th Anniversary of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls!
For those not familiar, this historic two day convention was the first event to focus on “the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women.” About three hundred women attended and after two days of discussion, they drafted the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. This document described the ways in which the laws of their time failed women. They failed to protect their rights, their safety and their potential. Their proposed solution was calling for the woman’s right to vote.
This was the official launch to the women’s rights and suffrage movements. Sadly, it took seventy years for women to actually be granted this right and few got to ever celebrate or see the fruit of their labors. But there was at least one woman, Rhoda Palmer, who at 102 cast her first ballot in the 1918 New York State election.
It’s amazing how second nature and even taken for granted voting seems today. I’m guilty myself of not voting in every election. It’s just a small one. There’s no candidate I care for, etc. But, to think of the blood, sweat and tears so many put in to grant us this simple privilege, I know I should do better.
As we head into what appears to be another contentious election season, let us remember these courageous people from our past. And let us most importantly remember, even one vote can make a difference. Let your voice be heard!
Are you currently registered to vote? REGISTER TODAY!
For more information about the Seneca Falls Convention and to really get a clear picture of the attendees and the risks they took to attend the convention that day– take a look at this keynote speech from the 150th anniversary.