Alice Paul Institute celebrating namesake’s birthday, centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment

Paul’s birthday on Jan. 11 will be observed at her original home in Mt. Laurel and will feature a special presentation on the history of women’s suffrage in America

Historical figure and Mt. Laurel native Alice Paul’s original home at 128 Hooten Road has been preserved for years as a shrine to her memory and everything she stood for as well as an educational tool for women and men, both young and old.

Paul was a major leader in the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. and local nonprofit the Alice Paul Institute, established in 1984, has made it their mission to honor her legacy and tireless work for gender equality through education and leadership development. 

According to Executive Director Lucy Beard, the institute had Paul’s home, their base of operations, designated a national historic landmark in 1992. The site is the only landmark of its type in New Jersey that honors a woman and is open to the public.

“Our core mission is to continue her work. To make this place a living legacy to what Alice Paul did,” Bear said.

Each year on or around Jan. 11, the institute observes Paul’s birthday with a free gathering open to the public, featuring programs and speakers. This year’s celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Alice Paul Institute at Paulsdale, 128 Hooten Road. Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP on the institute’s website, alicepaul.org.

This year will mark the centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s right to vote, a significant moment in our history that Paul fought hard to see accomplished. 

As such, this birthday celebration will feature a presentation on the subject of suffrage by speaker Lucia McMahon, professor and chair of history at William Paterson University in Wayne, entitled “The Movement is a Sort of Mosaic”: A History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

As its title suggests, McMahon’s presentation will feature a historical account of women’s suffrage in America, however, Bear expects there will be significant tie-ins to today’s world.

“There are a lot of messages from 1920 that are really appropriate for 2020 as well. The tactics that Alice Paul was using 100 years ago are still considered some of the better tactics in any kind of movement supporting a cause,” Bear said.

In addition to this upcoming event in town, the institute is hosting the 2020 Alice Paul Equality Gala on Thursday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. This is their biggest fundraising event of the year. Tickets are $175 a piece and available on alicepaul.org.

Like the presentation at the birthday celebration, the venue for the gala was specially chosen in recognition of the centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

The gala will include a reception complete with food and drink, special presentations including a poetry reading and a performance by the Philadelphia Girls Choir. 

For more information about the Alice Paul Institute and its programming, or to RSVP or purchase tickets for upcoming events, visit their website at alicepaul.org.