...sixteen days their long coats flapped in the bitter winter wind. Each frozen footstep brought them closer to their goal.
On June 9, 2014, I proudly represented the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and Vision 2020 in an unveiling ceremony for a new historical marker in Overlea, MD. This special marker placed on a main thoroughfare north of Baltimore, commemorates the stopover of “The Army on the Hudson.” Who? Never heard of them? I surmise most haven’t. But everyone should know about the 14 gutsy women who marched over 200 miles through cold winter weather from New York to Washington, DC to demand their right to vote. Upon arrival in the nation’s capitol they joined forces with over 8,000 women marching down Pennsylvania Ave in the great Women’s Suffrage Parade of 1913. This marker unveiling is one of many events to be held over the next six years commemorating the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
As I gazed at the historical marker, I wondered, would I have had their courage and commitment to make that long cold journey? They persevered 16 days through extreme physical challenges-- cheered on by supporters and taunted by their critics. Over a century ago these daring trailblazers (without the advantages of modern roads and shock-absorbent shoes!) were deemed “radical” and “outrageous!” Many women marched despite strong objections of their husbands and families. Yet, they dared to literally step up, and demand the legal vote for women- one half of our country’s population.
With this new marker, the “Army on the Hudson’s” story is now visible. It reminds all who drive by how determined women can help change the world. Now more than ever with state primaries and general elections this year, the best way to honor these brave women and shape the future is to use your VOICE and VOTE!
Written and contributed by:
Kate Campbell Stevenson
Maryland Women's Heritage Center's