Marshall to celebrate women’s suffrage centennial with motorcade

100 years ago in August, women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This year, on the same date, Mar- shall University will celebrate the largest expansion of democracy in the history of our country with the Aug. 26 Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration: Driving for Democracy event at the St. Mary’s Center for Education, 2853 5th Ave.

The first 50 cars to arrive will receive a gift bag with women’s suffrage sashes, car flags, buttons, and other items including grape juice boxes so that participants can safely join in the national “Toast to Tenacity” from inside their vehicles.

The toast honors the tenacity of women’s suffrage activists who fought for over 70 years to secure the right to vote in the United States of America. Grape juice will be used because the vast majority of suffragists supported the temperance move- ment, and alcoholic beverages were prohibited at the time of the 19th Amendment’s ratification.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with women who have really been doing the work of furthering democracy in our own community – women like Huntington League of

Women Voters Past President Helen Gibbins, who will serve as our parade’s grand marshall,” said Claire Snyder, program coordinator for the Women’s and Gender Center at Marshall. “We hope that students will join us in celebrating this day by decorating their cars, joining the Motorcade Parade, and – above all – registering to vote.”

Participants are instructed to arrive by 3:30 p.m. in the east parking lot of the venue. At 3:45, participants can access a YouTube link with their devices and watch, from the safety of their vehicles, the preview of a special program developed for the event featuring a performance by the Marshall University Opera Workshop, student recitations of historical speeches delivered by Sojourner Truth and Alice Paul, and comments on the significance of the women’s suffrage centennial by Marshall Univer- sity’s President Jerry Gilbert and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams.

The motorcade will depart for downtown Huntington via 29th Street at 4 p.m.

Online registration, along with further information about the motorcade parade, is available at

See more about Marshall’s efforts to recognize the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment at

Isabella Robinson can be contacted at [email protected].