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It was 1920, and women across the entire United States finally were given the right to vote. The American suffrage movement had its roots in the early to mid 19th century when various women's rights and temperance efforts began to pick up speed from their origins in upstate New York. It had been a long and hard battle, and one which resulted in violence and strife as well.
In Michigan, in Oakland County, in the hamlet of Birmingham, women had been enduring their own struggles and making gains in directing their own lives over the decades. Not stopping at suffrage in 1920, Birmingham's women continued to work to make the village and city, and the entire community, a better place to live for all. Many of Birmingham's women influenced later generations and created legacies that extended far beyond Birmingham to include regional and international impact.
2021 gives us a special opportunity to more clearly focus on those overlooked stories of Birmingham's fascinating and unique women who made their mark, from the pioneer women of 1818 to late 19th century reformers to 20th century political activists, architects and writers. Stop by and meet some of the most interesting women you'll ever encounter!
Exhibit Extended Through 2021!
(In spite of the 2020 pandemic, the stories of Birmingham's women are not going anywhere! Our annual exhibit, Beyond Suffrage: A Look at Empowering Birmingham's Women, has just been extended! )
They didn't wait for the 19th Amendment, and they didn't stop there either. The women of Birmingham have been blazing trails since the earliest days of the town and up to the present. What makes them stand out? During 2020, the Birmingham Museum will honor the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote by sharing new research on women who took charge of their lives and their circumstances to make a better Birmingham and a better world.