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Traveling Exhibit on Alaska Women’s Suffrage
Valdez, AK, March 17, 2021 – The traveling exhibit Alaska’s Suffrage Star opened at the Valdez Museum on March 12 and will be on display through May 23, 2021. It shares the history of women’s suffrage in Alaska, explaining how local and national activism helped Alaska women citizens achieve the vote in 1913.
That year, the first bill ever passed by the Alaska Territorial Legislature granted voting rights to women citizens. Only in 1924 did all Alaska Native women become eligible voters, because it was only then that the federal government granted US citizenship to Native Americans.
The exhibit features reproductions of historic photographs, illustrations, and political cartoons. It highlights Alaska women voting rights activists from the 1910s and 1920s, including:
Nellie Cashman, entrepreneur, miner, and the first woman to vote in a territorial election in Alaska
Cornelia Hatcher, temperance leader who led the successful effort to enact Prohibition in Alaska
Lena Morrow Lewis, socialist organizer and the first Alaska woman to run for federal office in 1916
The Alaska State Museum produced the exhibit to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which in 1920 extended the right to vote to American women throughout the country.
Alaska’s Suffrage Star is scheduled to appear at museums or libraries in Haines, Anchorage, Wrangell, Nome, Wasilla, Homer, and Cordova.
Development of the traveling exhibit was sponsored by the League of Women Voters Alaska, the League of Women Voters Anchorage, the Fairbanks Branch of the American Association of University Women, and the Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum.