Plans are afoot to honor suffragist Inez Milholland on the centennial of her death while campaigning for Votes for Women. Milholland was the daughter of Lewis, NY native John Milholland, and is buried in the family plot in Lewis.
This year is the centennial of Milholland’s death in Los Angeles of exhaustion and pernicious anemia. The loss of the charismatic 30-year-old New York attorney intensified women’s efforts for the ballot and led to the picketing of the White House in January 1917, considered among the most important activist efforts in the campaign to secure the vote for women.
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) has submitted a nomination to President Obama for Milholland (1886-1916) to be awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal in 2016. This second highest of civilian awards recognizes Americans who have made a significant contribution to the nation’s progress. Citing her “vital” leadership in the suffrage movement, Congresswoman Speier called Milholland “a shining star in the pantheon of inspiring leaders” in the early 20th century.
A year-long Inez Milholland Centennial observance is underway as part of the National Women’s History Project, the 35-year-old educational center responsible for the month of March being officially designated as National Women’s History Month. A digital petition and postcard campaign are underway to support the nomination.
Photo: Inez Milholland leading a suffrage march in 1913.