by Jade Densmore
November 7th, 2019 was a momentous day for Southern Maine Community College, as dozens of daffodils were ceremoniously planted on the grounds to represent their support for woman suffrage- women’s right to vote. Southern Maine Community College became the first college campus in Maine to partake in this Daffodil Tribute.
These daffodils not only represent woman suffrage, but also honored the support towards the battle many women have fought and the battle many more women will continue to fight as we all move towards a more equal future.
Many students (including David Lane, Lydia Hollen, Tyler O’Brien, Connor Hudson, Nicholas Roukey, Jehad Alromaih, Joshua Parks, Celina Simmons and Jade Densmore) came together to plant these bulbs and to hear the words of professor and Faculty Advisor for the Senate Herb Adams. Unfortunately, SMCC President Joe Cassidy, and Anne B. Gass, the well known Maine-born author of “Voting Down The Rose” which encapsulates her great grandmother’s story and her fight for suffrage, could attend this event. Their speeches were read by the Student Senate President, Joshua Parks, and by the Director of Records and Managing Editor of SMCC’s school newspaper the Beacon, Celina Simmons.
The daffodils will bloom in Spring 2020 for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote. Why daffodils you may ask? Gass explains perfectly that in February 1917, “the room at the state capitol that day was decorated with bouquets of daffodils, and the men who favoured suffrage sported a jonquil in their lapels (the anti-suffragists used the rose as their symbol)” hence the famous title of her book.
This being a particularly special topic to Gass as her own great grandmother, Florence Brooks Whitehouse, stood before the men of the Judiciary Committee of the Maine State Legislature fighting for women’s right to vote.
As Anne B. Gass shared, “Ultimately, on November 5th, 1919, the Maine legislature ratified the 19th Amendment through which most women won the right to vote. This fall we are honoring Maine suffragists’ hard work by planting thousands of daffodils all over the state; your ceremony today is part of that effort.” SMCC will hopefully be visited by her in the Spring when those beautiful yellow daffodils bloom.