Event, Notice, Suffragents

The East Hampton Library’s Annual Tom Twomey Lecture in Local History Celebrates Long Island in the Suffrage Movement, October 19, 2017

October 20, 2017

(event tape from Facebook live is below.)

October 20, 2017

[The local Patch ran more photos of the event, which you can see here.]

It all began more than a year ago, when planning got under way for the annual Tom Twomey lecture series of the East Hampton Library. With the suffrage centennial in New York State drawing near, the library’s Board of Managers agreed that the Library would take a key enabling role in the centennial celebration, partnering more than once since the summer with theLeague of Woman Voters of the Hamptons, which has produced nearly a dozen marquis events, including the 1913 East Hampton Suffrage Rally Re-enactment, which I posted about last August. The role of Library Director Dennis Fabiszak in the execution of both the LWV and library events is hard to overestimate.

We titled our presentation “Long Island, the East End, and 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in New York State” and posted a long list of reference material on the event page on our site. Even with major competing events at the Clinton Academy next door and at Guild Hall across the street, we had a full and enthusiastic house.

My privilege at the event was to introduce the inestimable Judith Hope, who served thrice as East Hampton Town Supervisor and was the first woman elected to office on Long Island. As appointments secretary to Gov. Hugh Carey, who tripled the number of women cabinet appointments during that tenure, the founder of Eleanor’s Legacy, an organization devoted to putting more women into elected office. Judith’s late husband, Tom Twomey, served as the revered president of the library board. He was a serious local history buff and endowed this annual lecture.

Judith introduced Asssemblyman Fred Thiele, who presented a proclamation to the LWV, honoring the organization’s outsized contributions during this suffrage centennial celebration. Thiele delighted the dominantly female audience  by donning a yellow “Votes for Women” sash, which just happened to match his yellow tie.

New York Assemblyman Fred Thiele

No doubt Assemblyman Thiele’s response to being draped in a yellow “Votes for Women” sash was a far cry from that of Woodrow Wilson during the 1912 US presidential campaign. Check out this passage from The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote:

The presentation of the proclamation:

Arlene Hinkemeyer, receiving the proclamation on behalf of the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons from NY State Assemblyman Fred Thiele

Our presenters were Antonia Petrash, president of the Long Island Woman Suffrage Association, author of Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement, and a frequent speaker on the subject. She traced the history of the movement, especially in its final decade, with a special emphasis on the women of Long Island who served the cause so passionately;

Antonia Petrash

and Arlene Hinkemeyer, a vice president of the Hamptons LWV, who has spearheaded the suffrage centennial programming for the organization and has researched the history of suffrage on the East End, especially the role of Mae Groot Manson, a key figure. In June, I wrote about the placing the historical marker in her honor, for which Arlene did so much of the spade work.

Arlene Hinkemeyer

The Library provided a Facebook Live recording of the entire event, including a six-minute video of the 1913 re-enactment rally, created by an East Hampton High School student.  It’s posted on the library’s Facebook page but can be seen here as well.



L to R, Judith Hope, Antonia Petrash, Arlene Hinkemeyer and Brooke Kroeger