Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci led the unveiling Tuesday of a historical marker for women’s suffrage placed near the corner of Wall and Main Streets.
The marker commemorates a July 1913 woman’s suffrage rally and clash between pro- and anti- suffragists. A confrontation occurred between the two sides over a horse-drawn wagon that was used in the parade.
Suffrage activist Rosalie Jones witnessed the 1913 wagon confrontation, along with Edna Buckman Kearns, a suffrage activist from Rockville Centre, and others. Rosalie’s mother, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Jones, made headlines when she stopped the parade through Huntington and threatened to take further action to stop suffragists from using the wagon to organize their efforts on Long Island.
“Now, 105 years later, this controversial event in the history of women’s rights will be commemorated for all to see in downtown Huntington Village,” said Supervisor Lupinacci.
“It’s hard to believe that there was a time when women couldn’t vote. It took the hard work of women to fight for their rights and change that,” said Cuthbertson, who recognized Huntington suffragist Ida Bunce Sammis, who organized the first women’s suffrage club in Suffolk County and was one of the first two women ever elected to the New York State Legislature in 1918.
“Women were not ‘equal’ to men in 1917, they did not have political equality,” said Antonia Petrash of the Long Island Woman Suffrage Association. “On November 6, 1917, that all changed. New York women got the vote and they could have their voices heard. Before that, they had to pay taxes that they had no voice in levying, they had to obey laws they had no voice in passing, and they had to see their sons conscripted to fight a war they had no voice in waging.”
The marker is part of a statewide program funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation to commemorate historic individuals, places, and events throughout the state. Long Island has almost one dozen road markers, installed or in the process of installation, dedicated to the women’s suffrage movement.
It stands on the east side of Wall Street, a few feet from the intersection with Main Street.