OLLI presents From the Parlor to the Polling Place

Cameron Steinmetz and Linda Radtke will present songs of the Women’s Suffragist Movement at OLLI Nov 2 Program. Photo provided
Cameron Steinmetz and Linda Radtke will present songs of the Women’s Suffragist Movement at OLLI Nov 2 Program. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Linda Radtke will present the next Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program, “From the Parlor to the Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists,” Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Nolin Murray Center next to St. Mary’s Church on Pleasant Street in Springfield.

Join singer and historian Linda Radtke dressed in period garb wearing a “Votes for Women” sash to celebrate 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 will also trace 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 nurture 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 Cameron Steinmetz, highlight Vermonters’ efforts from 1840-1921, as they lobbied in churches, at “parlor meetings,” at town halls, and at the Statehouse for total enfranchisement.

This program was originally scheduled for last fall to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. So, we will still celebrate it a year later.

The next program, Nov. 16 will be journalist Jon Margolis giving an overview of the current news situation with such diverse politics titled, “Your Fake News is My Absolute Truth: Tribal Politics.”

Due to the changing current situation of Covid-19, the University of Vermont requires that all attendees wear facemasks regardless of their vaccination status.

This is a membership series of programs offered by the University of Vermont. Non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend for a single program fee. We can no longer take any payments at the door or onsite. All attendee must pre-register prior to the start of the program. Registration can be done online at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli/springfield. For registration assistance, please call 802-656-5817.

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