SMCC students commemorate 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote

SMCC students have planted dozens of daffodils to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Maine’s ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

In a light rain Thursday afternoon, a group of students and Professor Herb Adams planted daffodil bulbs in a garden bed outside of Spring Point Residence Hall. The daffodil was the symbol for Maine suffragists who fought for the right to vote.

On Nov. 5, 1919, the all-male Maine Legislature voted to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing women equal voting rights. The 19th Amendment was officially adopted nationwide in August 1920, ending decades of the women’s suffrage movement.

“The trail is long, but it leads to today,” Adams said in a ceremony before the flowers were planted. “Today we plant yellow daffodil bulbs to commemorate that fight and those brave supporters of the right to vote.”

The ceremony was organized by the Student Senate, on which Adams serves as faculty advisor. Student Senate President Joshua Parks read a statement from President Joe Cassidy, who wasn’t able to attend the ceremony.

“Today’s planting ceremony is symbolic in two ways,” Parks said, reading Cassidy’s statement. “It commemorates a right ― the right to vote ― that is precious to us all. And because the seeds planted today will not bloom until spring, it also symbolizes a college education itself ― that learning that takes root today will enrich us all our lives.”

Student Celina Simmons read a statement written by Anne Gass, the author of “Voting Down the Rose,” a book about her great-grandmother’s efforts to win women voting rights in Maine.

“This fall we are honoring Maine suffragists’ hard work by planting thousands of daffodils all over the state,” Gass wrote in her remarks. “You ceremony today is part of that effort.”

SMCC is the first community college in Maine to hold a planting ceremony marking the centennial of Maine’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, Adams said. Another ceremony will be held after the daffodils bloom next spring.

Photo: Standing are Conner Hudson, Joshua Parks, Tyler O’Brien, Prof. Herb Adams, Dave Lane, Lydia Hollen, Nick Roukey and Jehad Alromaih. Kneeling are Celina Simmons and Jade Densmore.