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Remembering Kansas Feminists on Centennial of Women's Suffrage

Vicki Arnett, President of the Topeka and Shawnee County League of Women Voters, and her daughter, Emily Thompson, a freelance writer. The two spoke about Arnett's activism in Hutchinson in the 1970s, where she helped start a group called Feminist Forum, Women for Human Rights.

June 16 marks the 100th anniversary of Kansas ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting full voting rights to women. The national law took effect the following year, but women in Kansas had actually been voting since 1912. In fact, Kansas was the 8th state to independently grant full suffrage to women, despite the lack of a national law. In celebration of women's suffrage, freelance reporter Emily Thompson prepared this report about one woman's fight for equality... right here in Kansas.

This report was prepared by Emily Thompson, who grew up in Topeka. She's now a freelance writer living in Prague, Czech Republic.  

Fun factoid: Suffrage activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony adopted the Kansas state flower, the sunflower, as a symbol of the suffrage cause. Soon, gold pins, ribbons, and sashes, as well as yellow roses, became symbols of the cause. After Kansas suffragists adopted the state symbol of the sunflower for a campaign in 1867, yellow became the symbolic color of the national women’s suffrage movement. Supporters were urged to “show your colors” by wearing yellow ribbons, buttons, and sashes.

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