One of the least controversial things the Guilford County Board of Commissioners does is honor historic moments, and, at the board’s Thursday, Jan. 16 meeting, the commissioners voted to pass a resolution commemorating the success of the national women’s suffrage movement as well as the formation of the NC League of Women’s Voters – both of which took place 100 years ago. In that same action, the board approved a historic marker and monument in honor of the League of Women Voters.
The US Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution – giving women the right to vote – in 1919, and it was formally ratified in 1920. At that time, it gave roughly 26 million American women the ability to cast ballots. According to the Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 16 resolution, in that same year, Gertrude Weil founded the NC League of Women Voters – only a matter of yards from where the commissioners now meet. The state’s League of Women’s movement was founded on the steps of the Guilford County Courthouse, which is just a stone’s throw away from the second-floor of the Old Guilford County Court House on the same plaza.
The action, unanimously approved by the commissioners, honored the women’s suffrage movement with the resolution and approved the placement of the coming historic marker and monument near the old and new courthouses.
The League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad had approached Guilford County with a request for a historic marker and monument given the significance of the change made a century ago.
The cost will be paid for by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s historic signage grant program, and the site will be included in the online “National Votes for Women Trail.”
The marker and monument will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the NC League of Women Voters and “Gertrude Weil’s tireless dedication to the North Carolina Women’s Suffrage Movement.”
The monument will be placed in the Bicentennial Garden beside the Old County Court House, while the historical site marker remembering the state’s suffrage movement will be in front of the Old Guilford County Court House.