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Hillsborough community celebrates women’s history

The Hillsborough Township Committee recognized a landmark moment in American history for women at a recent meeting.

Hillsborough officials dedicated a portion of a Feb. 11 township committee meeting to recognize the Centennial Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. In 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. New Jersey became the 29th state in the Union to ratify the 19th Amendment on Feb. 9, 1920.

Shortly before Hillsborough Township Deputy Mayor Shawn Lipani read a proclamation at the meeting to honor this historic date, he called on all the females present in the room to join him at the dais including Hillsborough girl scouts, local officials as well as committeewomen Olivia Holmes and Gloria McCauley.

“We acknowledge and celebrate the 19th amendment and 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote,” Lipani said. “I’ll just say that as the only guy up here, we all know that women do most of the work around here and everywhere. They are the doers and worker bees, and as a father of a daughter and the proud husband of a wife who is a worker bee, without you, we would be nothing.”

Alongside Hillsborough, Somerset County officials are taking initiatives to acknowledge this landmark moment in American history as well.

The NJ Women Vote partnership, chaired by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy and Secretary of State Tahesha Way, said they aim to mark the centennial of women’s suffrage with multi-faceted programming throughout 2020 while acknowledging the challenges New Jersey women continue to face currently.

Officials said centennial programs will include a women and civic life speakers’ bureau, a voter registration table campaign, a bicycle slow roll to sites along the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, a Women’s Equality Day celebration in Trenton, and a recreated women’s suffrage march in New Brunswick on Sept. 26. NJ Women Vote advocates for civic engagement and voter participation for all in New Jersey.

The Somerset County Library System (SCLSNJ) is also celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in 2020. During March, residents have the opportunity to discover a century of women’s suffrage and more during Women’s History Month with the SCLSNJ. During the month-long celebration, SCLSNJ officials said they will showcase the achievements of women by sharing the stories of monumental women, by exploring the history of women through programs, and by maintaining an ever-expanding literary collection.

“Throughout 2020, American women from coast to coast will be celebrating 100 years of having the right to vote by sharing stories of fearless women whether discussing Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, or someone a little closer to home – like your mother,” SCLSNJ’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Carolann DeMatos said in a statement. “Our libraries are proud to do the same. Our branches will be presenting incredible, informative, and well-researched programs; while our librarians will be ready to help you find that next, perfect, inspirational read.”

In addition to a collection of works by female writers to be featured by the library system, residents will also get a chance to experience live reenactments of Alice Paul and Louisa May Alcott; attend lectures about Amelia Earthart and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and view a screening of the film “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.”

Two events in particular are scheduled to come to Hillsborough:

Women on Wheels: How Women Found Freedom Through Bicycling

March 19, 7 – 8 p.m. at the Hillsborough Library branch, located at 379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough. This program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/3449100.

Meet Alice Paul

March 28, 2 – 3 p.m. at the Hillsborough branch, located at 379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/2183337.

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