Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage wins national award for exhibit

The Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Albert B. Corey Award by the American Association for State and Local History. 

The award is limited to one winner per year and recognizes volunteer organizations “that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination in their work.” 

The Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage committee created a traveling exhibit that commemorated three significant milestones: 

1870 – Utah women are first to vote in the U.S.,

1920 – The 19th Amendment secures voting rights for U.S. Women, and 

1965 – The Voting Rights Acts prohibits racial discrimination in voting. 

The exhibits were made from cardboard voting booths and included details and stories about these important dates and the women and men who changed the course of history. Music and poetry from the suffrage era, and a stereoscope with photos from the 1870s were also part of the exhibits. 

One booth included a slot with paper ballots for casting votes. The display traveled to schools in Cache, Logan and Box Elder School Districts, where they were viewed by an estimated 30,000 students from Kindergarten to High School. 

Schools in the Salt Lake, Ogden and Nephi areas also hosted exhibits, as did the Hyrum City Museum, Brigham City Museum of Art & History, the Cache County offices, and Utah State University’s President’s Office and Education Department. 

The exhibits were a key element in the kickoff celebration of USU’s Year of the Woman in 2020, and were displayed during Logan City’s Block Festival, and at USU’s American Festival Chorus One Voice Suffrage Concert. 

Besides researching local history and designing the exhibit, the committee marched in parades with sashes and banners, held a book signing, sponsored an essay contest for Cache County students, spoke to various groups, and organized an event in Logan recognizing the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment on Aug. 26, 2020. 

Hyrum City Museum Director Jami J. Van Huss led the award nomination process with committee co-chair Karina Brown, exhibit designer Gail Griswold, and key members of the Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage committee. 

Victoria Grieve, Historian at USU, provided a critical review supporting the nomination. Letters of support were submitted by Tim Smith and Bonnie Odd from the Cache County School District. Corinne Clarkson at the Cache County School District submitted a video of the students and the exhibits. 

The AASLH is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to preserving history. The Leadership in History Awards began in 1945 to encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history in the United States. The award will be officially presented at the AASLH meeting in September in Little Rock, Ark. Van Huss will attend.

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