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From the Parlor to Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists
Winooski Senior Center
Singer and historian Linda Radtke, in period garb, celebrates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, specifically highlighting the decades-long persistence of Vermonters, both women and men. Music was essential to the movement: each state convention of suffragists began and ended with songs such as “Shall Women Vote?” “New America,” “Giving the Ballot to the Mother’ or “Voting as We Pray,” as well as rousing Christian hymns.
Radtke also traces the movement ‘s alignment with other social justice initiatives such as temperance, labor conditions, wage equity, peace, and children’s welfare. Touring the state in 1870, suffragist Lucy Stone urged resistant citizens to see women’s involvement in civic life as “Enlarged Housekeeping,” expanding women’s traditional efforts to nuture hearth and home to a wider focus to improve the greater community.
Both the songs and stories in Radtke’s engaging presentation, accompanied by pianist Arthur Zorn, highlight Vermonters’ efforts from 1840-1921, as they lobbied in churches, at “parlor meetings” at town halls and at the State House for total enfranchisement.