Int'l Women's Day: How a Dunedin woman helped pass voting rights for women
DUNEDIN, Fla. (Tampa Bay Now) - Wednesday, March 8th is International Women's Day. Across Florida, communities are celebrating the many achievements and contributions of women throughout history. One Tampa Bay city gives special recognition to this day.
The monument representing that local contribution stands on Edgewater Drive in Dunedin. Small in size, you can't miss its purple hue. A sign, it stands tall and strong. It stands for women's suffrage work.
"The Skinner family was very prominent in Dunedin from its early time," explained Vinnie Luisi, Executive Director for the Dunedin History Museum. "Most of the family owned quite a few citrus crops. L.B. Skinner, who was our first mayor, had one daughter, Elizabeth, and other sons. Elizabeth was the spitfire and she's the one that initiated the movement for women's rights."
Dunedin became the first city in Florida to receive the National Votes for Women Trail Marker. It stands on the former site of Library Hall, where Skinner hosted suffrage and club meetings. Elizabeth Skinner was a prominent figure in the 1920s' Women's Suffrage Movement and a leader in the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs.
"Letters, protesting, signs," Luisi explained of Skinner and those who advocated alongside her. "It was about 1919 here in Dunedin. Elizabeth Skinner and her friend traveled up to Tallahassee and picketed. The Sheriff asked them to disburse. They didn't. They stayed for their rights and, eventually, the two of them with others were arrested."
It stands in recognition of a local woman's tireless advocacy. Skinner's efforts helped pave the way for the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. This granted women the right to vote.
"They made a difference. they made women's rights happen," said Luisi. The sign stands for everything Elizabeth Skinner stood for. "It stands for the beginning of women's rights and suffrage in the state of Florida."
for more features.