Submitted by the League of Women Voters of the San Juans and Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor
The year 2020 will stand out in history for many reasons, but at least one of them is reason for celebration. It marks 100 years since women were granted the right to vote in the United States.
Here in Friday Harbor, the League of Women Voters of the San Juans and Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor had planned to commemorate the centennial by recreating a March for the vote as their entry in the July Fourth parade. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade, along with most other Fourth of July events, was canceled.
Determined to mark the event, the two organizations proposed to do the March as a stand-alone event on Aug. 18, the date when the 19th Amendment was passed by Tennessee, the final state needed for ratification. They applied to the town for a permit and to have a street closed off for a short time. Then a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the state extended Phase II, and the town regretfully informed them that under the rules for Phase II they could not issue a permit.
Undaunted, they turned to Plan C, and held the march in Linde Park in Friday Harbor on Aug. 26, the 100th Anniversary of the certification of the Amendment. Forty-five women and men gathered, wearing the traditional white, and costumes from the last 180 years, to remember the fight for the right to vote, a century of women’s direct participation in our national democracy, women’s rights, and the rights of all citizens of age to vote.
You can watch a short video of the event at www.facebook.com/LWVSanJuans and www.facebook.com/soroptimistinternationaloffridayharbor.