Women's Equality Day to be celebrated today at reception

Published on Sunday, 25 August 2013 22:49 - Written by DAYNA WORCHEL dworchel@tylerpaper.com

On Aug. 26, 1920, American women officially won the right to vote after years of working toward that goal.

The U.S. Congress ratified the amendment in 1919.

It all began with the world’s first Women’s Rights convention in 1848 at Seneca Falls, N.Y., according to information received from the National Women’s Historic Project website. And in 1971, the U.S. Congress voted to commemorate that day each year as Women’s Equality Day.

To honor that anniversary, The League of Women Voters of Tyler/Smith County, along with the city’s Historic Preservation Board are inviting the community to attend a special reception from 5 today to 7 p.m. today at Gallery Main Street, 110 W. Erwin St., in downtown Tyler.

“We hope everyone will catch the spirit of the day and join us in celebrating Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26,” League President Mary Claire Rowe said in a statement.

The celebration begins with a tribute to Elizabeth Herndon Potter, an early civic leader who initiated and supported many projects and plans to improve Tyler, according to information from the League.

Mrs. Potter also was a champion of women’s participation in solving problems and in meeting Tyler’s needs. She will be honored with an installation of a historic preservation plaque on the Half Mile of History sidewalk display on the downtown square in Tyler.

Mayor Barbara Bass will read a proclamation in honor of Women’s Equality Day and Ms. Rowe will acknowledge the hard-won success of the suffragettes and the early members of the league, according to information from The League.

Other events the league has scheduled this fall include the East Texas Book Fest on Sept. 14 at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, and a discussion on Human Trafficking on Sept. 23. On Oct. 14, the league will present a constitutional amendments forum. Dates and times for some of the events have not yet been set, Program Vice President Dee Brock said Wednesday.

The league of Tyler/Smith County Women Voters was founded in 1952 as a chapter of the national organization League of Women Voters of the United States, which was created after the 75-year struggle to gain the vote for women, according to information from its website.

The league provides information to voters, works to involve residents in community issues, and studies and advocates on important topics related to government, the administration of justice, the environment, and social policy, according to their website.

Voting membership in the league is open to men and women of voting age. Noncitizens and people under age 18 are urged to join as associate or non-voting members.

For more information, visit to www.lwvtyler.org .