CRANFORD - The Cranford Township Committee passed a proclamation last week marking the 100th Anniversary of New Jersey's ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting U.S. women the right to vote.
Deputy Mayor Kathleen Miller Prunty, one of two women on the Cranford Township Committee (also Mary O'Connor), read the proclamation and mentioned that they had intended to light the Cranford Municipal Building purple, one of the colors of the Women's Suffrage Movement, but there were some "technical difficulties."
"New Jersey has had a long, storied history in the suffrage movement with New Jersey women playing crucial roles in pursing the rights of women to vote," read Prunty. "Whereas on June 4, 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing all American women the right to vote. And whereas, on February 9, 1920, New Jersey became the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote."
The proclamation does note that shortly after the ratification of the 19th Amendment in New Jersey, Margaret Laird and Jennie Van Ness were the first two women elected to the New Jersey Assembly in 1921. Furthermore, in 1925, Rebecca Estelle Bourgeois Winston was New Jersey's first woman Mayor.
During her Deputy Mayor comments later in the meeting, Prunty added, "It was profoundly important to read that proclamation because my own grandmothers, both of my grandmothers, very independent, strong women were in their 30's before they had the right to vote. The struggle continues, but there are dynamic, bright women who continue to set an example in their communities, in schools, in their business, in politics, and we have to continue doing that. We have to continue to set an example for all the young girls, and the young boys, that we are all better off when there is equal opportunity."