Some of the First Women to Vote in New Jersey will Share The... | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
News & Events Header

Teachers College Newsroom

Skip to content Skip to content

Some of the First Women to Vote in New Jersey will Share Their Memories in Oral History Project

The memories of some of the first women to vote in the state of New Jersey--all of whom are now in their nineties--will be captured for posterity in a new oral history project funded by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Led by Teachers College Faculty Member and President Of Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., Project Is Funded by New Jersey Historical Commission

The memories of some of the first women to vote in the state of New Jersey--all of whom are now in their nineties--will be captured for posterity in a new oral history project funded by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

The project will be codirected by Margaret Smith Crocco, assistant professor of social studies education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Barbara Irvine, president of the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.

In the interviews, the women will be asked to discuss their "personal experiences of going to the polls, making choices in their voting, and viewing themselves as 'political actors.'" The women will also be asked about their memories of the fight for suffrage and will be asked to describe the scene the first time they voted.

Some 10 women, many of whom have already been identified by the League of Women Voters, will be interviewed. The audiotapes and transcripts will be stored for historians at the Alice Paul Foundation.

Officials at the New Jersey Channel/NJN have also expressed interest in creating videotapes of some of the interviews for a possible documentary on the suffrage movement in New Jersey.

The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, became law on August 26, 1920.

Much of the history of the suffrage movement in New Jersey is recounted in Reclaiming Lost Ground: The Struggle for Woman Suffrage in New Jersey, cowritten by Professor Crocco and published by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the New Jersey Historical Commission. Since that text was published in 1993, more than 2,000 copies have been sold or distributed free of charge around the state.

The interviews with women voters from the early 1920s will be used in the creation of a curriculum guide that will be paired with Reclaiming Lost Ground. Excerpts from the interviews, as well as tips for teachers on helping their classes create oral histories, will be included in the guide, which will also be tied to new standards issued by the National Council of the Social Studies (NCSS).

The interviews with the first women voters "will personalize the story of suffrage," say Crocco and Irvine, and make that story more accessible to high school students and the general public in New Jersey.

In addition to coauthoring Reclaiming Lost Ground, Crocco edited a special issue of Social Education, the journal of the NCSS, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

The project's directors would like to identify additional women who voted in 1920. If you are one of those women or know someone who is able to interviewed, call 609-231-1885.

The Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1984. The Foundation's major goals include the enhancement of public awareness about the life and work of Alice Paul, a leader for woman suffrage, and the development of educational programs about Paul and other women in history.

Teachers College, a graduate school devoted to education across the lifespan and both in and out of the classroom, is an affiliate of Columbia University but retains its legal and financial independence. Some 4,500 students are currently studying for master's and doctoral degrees. In a 1996 survey by the editors of U.S. News & World Report, Teachers College was ranked as the number-one graduate school of education in America.

Published Friday, Jun. 28, 2002

Some of the First Women to Vote in New Jersey will Share Their Memories in Oral History Project

Led by Teachers College Faculty Member and President Of Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., Project Is Funded by New Jersey Historical Commission

The memories of some of the first women to vote in the state of New Jersey--all of whom are now in their nineties--will be captured for posterity in a new oral history project funded by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

The project will be codirected by Margaret Smith Crocco, assistant professor of social studies education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Barbara Irvine, president of the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.

In the interviews, the women will be asked to discuss their "personal experiences of going to the polls, making choices in their voting, and viewing themselves as 'political actors.'" The women will also be asked about their memories of the fight for suffrage and will be asked to describe the scene the first time they voted.

Some 10 women, many of whom have already been identified by the League of Women Voters, will be interviewed. The audiotapes and transcripts will be stored for historians at the Alice Paul Foundation.

Officials at the New Jersey Channel/NJN have also expressed interest in creating videotapes of some of the interviews for a possible documentary on the suffrage movement in New Jersey.

The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, became law on August 26, 1920.

Much of the history of the suffrage movement in New Jersey is recounted in Reclaiming Lost Ground: The Struggle for Woman Suffrage in New Jersey, cowritten by Professor Crocco and published by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the New Jersey Historical Commission. Since that text was published in 1993, more than 2,000 copies have been sold or distributed free of charge around the state.

The interviews with women voters from the early 1920s will be used in the creation of a curriculum guide that will be paired with Reclaiming Lost Ground. Excerpts from the interviews, as well as tips for teachers on helping their classes create oral histories, will be included in the guide, which will also be tied to new standards issued by the National Council of the Social Studies (NCSS).

The interviews with the first women voters "will personalize the story of suffrage," say Crocco and Irvine, and make that story more accessible to high school students and the general public in New Jersey.

In addition to coauthoring Reclaiming Lost Ground, Crocco edited a special issue of Social Education, the journal of the NCSS, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

The project's directors would like to identify additional women who voted in 1920. If you are one of those women or know someone who is able to interviewed, call 609-231-1885.

The Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1984. The Foundation's major goals include the enhancement of public awareness about the life and work of Alice Paul, a leader for woman suffrage, and the development of educational programs about Paul and other women in history.

Teachers College, a graduate school devoted to education across the lifespan and both in and out of the classroom, is an affiliate of Columbia University but retains its legal and financial independence. Some 4,500 students are currently studying for master's and doctoral degrees. In a 1996 survey by the editors of U.S. News & World Report, Teachers College was ranked as the number-one graduate school of education in America.

How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends