Local History Topics
Women's Suffrage Centennial
The majority of women in the United States won the right to vote in 1920, with the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. The Vernon County Museum is commemorating this centennial with exhibits, videos, and articles. Using the resources below, you can learn more about women's suffrage on both a local and national level.
Suffrage events sponsored by the Vernon County History Center
The first event held on the grounds was a Votes for Women! celebration, which took place on August 26, 2020. Even in the middle of a pandemic and with temperatures in the 90s, people came out to celebrate and show support for Women's Suffrage 100 years after the 19th Amendment took effect.
The second event was co-sponsored with the Viroqua Women's Literary Society, and was held at the Viroqua Cemetery on August 26, 2022. The dedication of the National Votes for Women Trail Marker, by contrast, was a beautiful day and brought out a great group of people.
Why August 26 for both events? For the answer we look to the National Constitution Center which explains that even though the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, it wasn't certified until August 26, 1920. Thus, August 26 became Women's Equality Day. A day of celebration!
Library of Congress - Women's Suffrage page.
History Makers - A Wisconsin Women’s History Classroom Resource.
Wisconsin Women Making History - Vernon County's Maud Neprud Otjen
The Vernon County Historical Society and the Viroqua Community Theatre have partnered on a theatrical video presentation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment:
Failure is Impossible!
The cast includes Karen Dahl, Erica Howe, Dr. Brian Lyle and Rebecca Palmer with the musical support of Jacinta Henden and Tara Lyons. The production is directed by Pam Kalinosky.
Over the years, the museum has published local suffrage information in the Weekly Column. Here are some extracts:
Maud Neprud from March 11, 2015
Karen Mischel and other female town and village officials from April 8, 2018
Vernon County female officials from March 3, 2019
Tilda Omundson from March 10, 2019
Lillian Jussen from March 17, 2019
Ratification of the 19th Amendment from June 9, 2019
Lucy Stone Marker from August 18, 2019
Prohibition and Suffrage from January 12, 2020
Who didn't get to vote? from March 8, 2020
University of Wisconsin graduates in the 19th century from March 15, 2020
Amy Gott from March 22, 2020
Reverend Olympia Brown from July 12, 2020
Excerpts from the Vernon County Censor