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Oregon Marks 100 Years Of Women's Suffrage

OPB | Nov. 5, 2012 midnight | Updated: Nov. 5, 2012 4:35 a.m. | Portland, OR

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Monday is the 100th anniversary of the election Oregonians recognize as the beginning of women’s suffrage.

The group Century of Action will be in Pioneer Courthouse Square, in early 20th century clothes, handing out flyers urging people to support women’s right to vote.

Over the past few months of lectures and events, they’ve been spreading the word about how the vote led women to a new level of citizenship, lobbying in Salem, to holding elected office. In some cases women actually took over local governments in places like Umatilla or Yoncala, shortly after suffrage.

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Eliza Canty-Jones of the Oregon Historical Society says the story of how women won the votes is as much a part of the country’s history as the civil rights movement.

“In this nation we have an incredibly powerful history of people working very hard to make the ideals of the founding become reality. Women’s suffrage is a massive part of that story.”

Shortly after 1912, the state experienced seismic political shifts on issues like the death penalty, public health, and workplace rules.

Monday OPB TV premiers an Oregon Experience documentary on the suffragists. See it at 9 p.m..

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