Celebrating Inez Milholland

Recently it’s all about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the news. My family watched the documentary “RBG” and fell in love all over again with this powerhouse who faced obstacle upon obstacle in her fight to expose gender discrimination. Notorious RBG wasn’t the first to dedicate her life toward equal rights and we know she won’t be the last. Before RBG was Inez Milholland and many other brave women whose dedication opened doors for future generations. I want to make sure I and my children never take those rights for granted.

Born in 1886, Milholland lived in New York and London. She attended Vassar College and was actually suspended for organizing a women’s rights meeting. After being readmitted and graduating, Milholland applied to Harvard, Cambridge and Yale law schools, but was rejected based on gender. She eventually was accepted and graduated from New York University School of Law. Her passions including prison reform, child labor reform, ending racial discrimination, international peace, as well as women’s suffrage.

Milholland died in California at a rally in 1916, four years before Congress ratified the 19th amendment, ensuring women’s voting rights now and for future generations.

Through all she accomplished, 30-year-old Milholland died without having the right to vote.

Her body was brought back to the Adirondacks and buried in her family plot in Lewis. The family’s summer property is now the residence of the Meadowmount School of Music.

On Jan. 19 at 11 a.m., there will be a free celebration and flower-laying ceremony to honor the 3rd annual Adirondack Women’s March. The march will start at the Lewis Congregational Church and walk to the Inez Memorial at the Milholland family plot. After returning to the church, participants are encouraged to go to the Whallonsburg Grange for a rally, refreshments, signing and open mic.

I’m not sure we can attend this rally, but at the very least we can continue to honor the work that Milholland and other women and men are doing to make sure everyone has equal rights. (There is a documentary, “Inez Milholland: Forward to the Light” available for anyone interested in learning more about her life and accomplishments.

Diane Chase is the author of the “Adirondack Family Activities” guidebook series, “Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities.” For more family-friendly activities go to www.