On August 18 in 1920, the 19th amendment was passed which secured women’s right to vote. In recognition of this centennial celebration, a few local students wrapped downtown Oakdale in yellow ribbons.
A little over a week ago, local senior Caroline Krum posted a notice on social media that she would be going around town to hang up these ribbons. A few fellow friends and classmates were more than happy to join in on this endeavor.
After emailing Oakdale’s Public Services Director Jeff Gravel, Krum had a set plan and obtained permission for the event. In fact, Gravel offered Krum some resources concerning the centennial and encouraged her to leave the yellow ribbons up for a few days.
“The yellow rose is the suffragette symbol, so we felt that tied in nicely,” Krum reported. “I wanted to make sure it was something everyone could see and know about.”
Trees and downtown street lanterns were covered with these yellow and white ribbons as well as a banner explaining the event, put up at the Oakdale Town Plaza adjacent to the Bianchi Community Center.
Krum explained that there are plenty of holidays and monumental anniversaries that go uncelebrated because of lack of awareness; she wanted to do her part to change that. She noted that her friends and family hadn’t even realized that this day in August represented the 100th year anniversary.
“There’s other holidays that aren’t just for the majorities, but also for minorities; we should celebrate those too,” she encouraged.
Moreover, she doesn’t just want to celebrate with ribbons and a banner, but also wants to raise awareness to women’s history. One of the resources Gravel supplied Krum with was the website https://www.2020centennial.org/. This page informs visitors about the history of the suffrage movement (including curriculum for teachers), links to informative books, and primary sources detailing the fight for the women’s right to vote.
“It was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I felt like no one else was doing it so this was my way to get the message out,” Krum added.
The Tuesday morning ribbon decorating effort started early, the group gathering in the plaza and fanning out from there.