The Oswegoland Heritage Association and the Oswegoland Park District team up to present two history activities, one online and the other one a historical walking tour.

A free online history program celebrating the centennial of women winning the right to vote by ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, sponsored by the heritage association in cooperation with the park district, is set for Saturday, Sept. 12, a news release stated.

Beginning at 1:30 p.m., Jeanne Schultz Angel from the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars program will present “Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage in Illinois.”

Before 1920, women were denied the vote in the majority of elections in the United States, although they gradually won the right to vote in Illinois in certain local elections. The struggle for enfranchisement began with the birth of the nation and was strategized differently in local, state, and federal elections.

Despite what people today believe to be a straightforward goal, the path to women’s suffrage was infused with sexism and racism and triggered a fear of feminism whose roots are still seen today. While wealthy women advocates played a vital role in the suffrage movement, they were not the only ones seeking enfranchisement. From attorney Ellen Martin, the first woman to vote in Illinois, to Ida B. Wells, a Black woman who did not let racism quiet her voice, women’s suffrage was a battle hard fought by a diverse group of activists in Illinois.

The free Illinois Humanities Road Scholars program is presented virtually on the Zoom platform. Registration is required by calling the museum at 630-554-2999 or the park district at 630-554-1010 or by going to the museum website at www.littlewhiteschoolmuseum.org and clicking on “Virtual program event.” After registering, participants will receive a unique Zoom link to access the program.

Then, weather permitting, on Sunday, Sept. 13, as well on Sunday, Oct. 11, the heritage association and the park district will partner to offer one-hour Oswego history walks starting at 2 p.m. each afternoon. The walks will travel the same route both months.

Participants, led by Oswego history enthusiasts Ted Clauser and Linda Dean, will step into a journey through time on the guided walking tour of Oswego. History will come alive as visitors pass by homes, businesses, buildings and other sites that have contributed to Oswego’s long history and heritage.

Registration fee is $5, and space is limited. Pre-registration is required by calling 630-554-2999, 630-554-1010, or visiting the websites of the Little White School Museum, www.littlewhiteschoolmuseum.org, or the Oswegoland Park District, www.oswegolandparkdistrict.org.

Participants should be able to comfortably walk for about one hour. The event begins and ends at the Little White School Museum, 72 Polk St., Oswego. Face coverings and social distancing measures will be practiced for the walk, which will be held outdoors through Oswego’s most historic neighborhoods.

Both the online and walking tour programs are aimed at those ages 16 and older. For more information, call 630-554-2999 or visit www.littlewhiteschoolmuseum.org.

Downtown Oswego as it looked about 1920, when women won the right to vote by ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Downtown Oswego as it looked about 1920, when women won the right to vote by ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.