Local initiative honoring suffrage anniversary takes national award

This award-winning exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment was designed by Gail Griswold for the Cache Celebration of Women's Suffrage.

NASHVILLE – Officials of the American Association for State and Local History here announced Tuesday that the Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage has won their prestigious 2021 Albert B. Corey Award.

That annual award recognizes volunteer organizations that “best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship and imagination in their work,” according to AASLH spokespersons.

The Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage was organized in 2020 to highlight the nationwide Year of the Woman observance and the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in America.

Nibley resident and former candidate for lieutenant governor Karina Brown was co-chair of that ad hoc committee with Cache County Council member Barbara Tidwell.

Brown explains that the Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage created a traveling exhibit, designed by Gail Griswold, that commemorated three significant milestones in the struggle for women’s civil rights.

Those milestones were the years 1870, when Utah women were first able to vote; 1920, when the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteed women’s voting rights; and 1965, when the Voting Rights Act prohibited racial discrimination at the ballot box.

“The exhibits were made from cardboard voting booths,” Brown said. “The exhibit included details and stories about these important dates as well as the women and men who changed history.”

The exhibit also featured music and poetry from the suffrage era and a stereoscope with photos dating to the 1870s.

“One voting booth included a slot with paper ballots for casting votes,” Brown added.

The local display traveled to schools in the Cache, Logan and Box Elder school districts, where it was viewed by an estimated 30,000 students in grades from kindergarten through high school.

The display also figured prominently in the kick-off of the Year of the Woman celebration at Utah State University, the 2020 Block Festival in Logan and the One Voice Suffrage concert by USU’s American Festival Chorus.

Additionally, local committee members marched in parades; hosted a book signing; sponsored an essay contest for Cache County students; spoke to various civic groups; and organized a Celebration of a Century 1920-2002 event recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 2020.

The Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage was nominated for the Corey Award by Jami Van Huss, director of the Hyrum City Museum, among others. That recommendation was supported by USU historian Victoria Grieve as well as Tim Smith, Bonnie Odd and Corinne Clarkson from the Cache County School District.

The Albert B. Corey Award is named in honor of the founder and former president of the American Association of State and Local History.

That award will be presented at the AASLH annual meeting in September in Little Rock, AR.

The AASLH is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to preserving history.

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