FREEHOLD, NJ – In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of New Jersey ratifying the 19th Amendment on Feb. 9, 1920, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon hosted a “Pink Tea” on Feb. 6 at the historic Woman’s Club of Matawan. The event was an opportunity for women elected officials and election officials in Monmouth County, as well as members of the Monmouth County League of Women Voters Chapters and the Woman’s Club of Matawan to gather, meet, and collectively recognize the centennial of the women's suffrage movement.
During the early part of the 20th century, pink tea gatherings were utilized by suffragists to secretly meet and discuss their voting rights efforts. Historically, pink teas provided a disguise of a frivolous affair but in reality, were an opportunity for women, whose husbands, relatives, and peers did not want them to engage in politics, to meet and to do so.
New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, who is the top election official in the State of New Jersey, overseeing the State Division of Elections, served as the keynote speaker and discussed the importance of the historic milestone and the State's "NJ Women Vote" 19th Amendment Centennial Organization.
Peggy Dellinger, President of the League of Women Voters’ Southern Monmouth Chapter, as well as a trustee and the exhibit chair for the Township of Ocean Historical Museum, spoke about her “Votes for Women: New Jersey and Beyond” museum exhibit and provided a historical overview of the women’s suffrage movement. Also, Jesse Burns, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey informed about the national organization's 100th anniversary.
Clerk Hanlon’s event was attended by Freeholder Deputy Director Sue Kiley, Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, and Surrogate Rosemarie Peters, as well many women municipal officials, school board members, and leadership from the League of Women Voters’ Monmouth County Chapters and Woman’s Club of Matawan members.
Each attendee was given a yellow rose, which symbolized support for the women’s suffrage movement, and took a group photo to commemorate the centennial. The photo will be preserved in the Archives Division of the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office and therefore passed on to future generations.
“The women’s suffrage movement involved tens of thousands of courageous women and men who fought for over seven decades for women to gain the right to vote,” said Hanlon. “It is imperative that we commemorate their historic campaign and continue to cherish and preserve the rights established by the 19thAmendment.”
The Pink Tea event was a part of Clerk Hanlon’s year-long 19th Amendment Centennial Recognition Program to engage and educate people of all ages about this historic milestone.
The Monmouth County Clerk’s Office will continue to recognize the history of the centennial and the women’s suffrage movement through its social media campaign and printed materials, which will soon be available at the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office and online at MonmouthCountyVotes.com. Clerk Hanlon is encouraging all to use the hashtag #WomensVote100Monmouth, which the County Clerk’s Office developed to pertain to Monmouth County’s recognition of the centennial.
Additional programs will continue throughout the year. For more information about the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office 19th Amendment Centennial Recognition Program, please visit our website at MonmouthCountyVotes.com and follow our official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Pages.
For additional questions, please email CountyClerk@co.monmouth.nj.us, or call 732-431-7324, ext. 8735.