Greater Grand Rapids Womens History Council
  P.O Box 68874, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-8874                     Phone: 616-574-7307



August 16, 2017

Board of Directors

Melissa Fox
Kate van Liere
Connie Ingham
Ruth VanStee
Julia Bouwkamp    
Jo Ellyn Clarey 
Michelle DeRose 
Kristin Du Mez  
Melissa Fox 
Connie Ingham 
Kyle Irwin
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens 
    Dunham Strand 
Julie Tabberer
Kate van Liere   
Ruth Van Stee  

Deirdre Toeller-Novak
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Join GGRWHC to Celebrate!

Women's Equality Day
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Patio of the Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center 
Although the 97th anniversary of the American women  suffrage movement's great victory is actually on Saturday, August 26th, GGRWHC invites you to join us downtown on food-truck Thursday to spread the word about the 72-year-long political campaign guaranteeing universal suffrage. We will have photos and handouts about the local movement and will be joined by the reforming Grand Rapids League of Women Voters!

The suffrage headquarters in Grand Rapids in the Fourth National Bank building on Monroe at Pearl St. Working on a 1912 mail campaign are Equal Suffrage Club members Lois Jones, Fern Richardson Rowe, Eva McCall Hamilton, Alde Louise Tuck Blake, and Clara Comstock Russell.

The August 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment depended upon the efforts over 72 years by tens of thousands of unsung but persistent women and men. They organized referenda, circulated countless petitions, gave speeches, and were frequently harassed and ridiculed. The enormous significance of their nonviolent civil rights campaign is too-little credited. This year, get into the spirit of the occasion. Honor the long struggle by looking back at it!
Suffrage edition ad
National City Bank advertisement in the May 2, 1914 suffrage edition of the Grand Rapids Press, shows local suffragists passing out their literature from their familiar yellow bags. 
Increasingly after the turn of the 20th century, women took to the streets in creative ways, parading as well as personally distributing suffrage literature. The 1914 City Banks advertisement above illustrates Grand Rapids women as news "girls" getting out the paper they had published themselves in a take-over of the Grand Rapids Press!

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Read all about it!

There is a long continuum in American women's political history. When all women were enfranchised in 1920, the suffrage movement metamorphosed into the League of Women Voters. Sadly, the Grand Rapids League closed several years ago--BUT Elianna Bootzin is heading up an effort to resurrect it and will host a table next to ours on the GRAM patio!

We will be especially pleased to illustrate the links between the suffrage movement and the League, as well as the complications of the enfranchisement process on both the national and local levels. Check out the new group's Facebook page, but come downtown to get League news in person!  

See you on August 24th!
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Not a current member of GGRWHC?   Register or renew your membership and help offset the expenses associated with annual research and programs. Your membership helps to set the record straight on the women who've made history here in our community.

GGRWHC Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. in the Vanderveen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library. If you have suggestions for programs, oral histories, or other items, please email us or plan to attend a meeting.



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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomonal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a member of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider showing your support through annual membership.  Visit our web site for more information and the ability to register using Pay Pal online!

Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!