Although many women’s club members were active suffragists, some opposed suffrage. For that reason, officially, Delaware’s white women’s clubs avoided taking a stand on the issue. Comparing the 1916-1917 and 1923 calendars of the Milford New Century Club demonstrates a key change that the acquisition of suffrage worked. While the members showed continuing interests in Current Events and Civics, by 1923, they had added a committee on Citizenship.
- Milford New Century Club calendars, 1916-1917 and 1923. Records of the Milford (Delaware) New Century Club.
Founded in 1920 as a successor organization to the Delaware Equal Suffrage Association (DESA), the League of Women Voters (LWV) took a non-partisan approach to educating Delawareans on their citizenship rights and encouraging them to register and vote. The Newark LWV provided informational materials to local residents on elections and on their elected representatives. In 1973, Norma Handloff, Newark’s first woman mayor, was one such representative. Women’s clubs were also active in voter education undertakings. The 1952 “Get out the Vote” campaign by members of the Newark New Century Club reflected the kinds of community service commitments that women in such clubs and organizations made.
- New Century Club of Newark (Del.). Report of the “Get out the Vote” Community Project (page from report), 1952. Records of the New Century Club of Newark (Delaware). League of Women Voters of Newark Delaware.
- “They Represent You : A Directory of Elected Officials” (booklet), 1973. Records of the League of Women Voters of Newark, Delaware.
- “Registration Dates for City of Newark Election” (flier), April 12, 1977. Records of the League of Women Voters of Newark, Delaware.