2020 Rose Parade honors the centennial of women’s suffrage with two floats

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 2020 Tournament of Roses will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920 with two floats in the 131st Rose Parade. It’s fitting that Laura Farber is the president this year, only the third woman and the first Latina to hold that position. The Rose Parade will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 at 8 a.m.

In keeping with the parade theme, “The Power of Hope,” the float sponsored by Pasadena Celebrates 2020  is named “Years of Hope, Years of Courage.” The entry from South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR), the oldest self-built float association, is “Victory at Last.”

South Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2020 float “Victory at Last”

South Pasadena, whose entries date back to 1893, was the first to honor the centennial, with a float designed by Mike Mera. The entry features the hat popular with suffragettes, a boater in purple and decorated with feathers and flowers and a campaign button. It leans against a ballot box, while the scroll of the 19th Amendment sits in front. A large jewel in the purple and green of the movement represents a secret sign women had for others who supported their rights.

Chris Dueñas-Metcalf, social media chair of SPTOR, explained, “Women wore jewelry in certain colors to signal other women that they supported the movement without verbally saying so.” Men controlled the households, communication as well as money, and women’s clothes usually didn’t have pockets, he said. “Jewelry, hats, and clothing were the ‘social media’ of the day…. We specifically chose this theme because Laura (Farber) challenged us three years ago to take on this topic.” Farber lives in South Pasadena.

Pasadena Celebrates 2020 float “Years of Hope, Years of Courage”

Pasadena Celebrates 2020 is the brainchild of a recent Pasadena transplant, Nan Johnson. This past January, she sat down with a group of women and men to create a plan to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to enter a float. The organization was formed under the umbrella of the non-profit National Women’s History Alliance. Johnson is a retired Political Science Adjunct Professor from the University of Rochester, New York, founding director of the Susan B. Anthony Center, and President of the American Association of University Women (Rochester).

The entry, which is not affiliated with the City of Pasadena, features a 30-foot Statue of Liberty holding the tablet of the 19th Amendment and wearing a suffrage sash of purple, white, and gold, with banners planted along the float deck. It is designed by John Ramirez and built by AES. Riders will include a “Bouquet of Suffrage Descendants,” those in direct line to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, and Frederick Douglass.

Women who would like to be among the 100 outwalkers, which requires a $1,000 contribution, can apply on the website. In addition to corporate and individual sponsors, people can donate $20.20 for a rose vial with the donor’s or honoree’s name on it. Sponsors and donors include prominent women’s organizations and individuals; they are listed on the website.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution simply states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” It gave women across the country full rights to vote, but since 27 of the 48 states—almost all in the West—already had enfranchised women, at least for presidential elections, its major impact was on 21 states that spread down the East Coast and across the South.

The first to grant full rights was Wyoming territory in 1869, though there had been short-lived attempts prior to that. (This map shows the distribution and the dates of enfranchisement.) Now, 25 percent of the Senate is female, with six states being represented by women only. Only five women are from states in which women couldn’t vote for president prior to 1920. The House has 102 women representatives, plus four delegates from US territories and the District of Columbia.

 

Sources:

https://www.history.com/news/the-state-where-women-voted-long-before-the-19th-amendment

https://constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw08_12159.html

https://cawp.rutgers.edu/list-women-currently-serving-congress

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