KENILWORTH, N.J., August 18, 2021 – Nationally acclaimed author and historian Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi will highlight women’s valiant, decades-long struggle in winning the right to vote, particularly the efforts of local and Union County pathfinders, during a Victorian “Pink Tea” to be presented by the Kenilworth Historical Society on Sat., Nov. 6, 2021, in celebration of “100 Years and More of Votes for Women.”
In commemorating the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in 1920 gave women the right to vote, Rajoppi will spotlight many who led the decades-long Women’s Suffrage movement, particularly Kenilworth and Union County pathfinders who helped further the cause and who overcame daunting challenges in paving the way for other women to run for public office.
The Tea will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Kenilworth Veterans Center, 33 South 21 Street, where the ambience will resemble the “Pink Teas” that Victorian women held to secretly discuss such then-controversial issues as women’s voting rights. It was believed that referring to the gatherings as “Pink Teas” would mask their political purpose and deter men from attending. An array of assorted teas, tea sandwiches and desserts will be served during the Nov. 6 Tea, which also will feature a gift auction and door prizes.
Admission is $30. Advance reservations (by Oct. 23) are requested, as seating is limited. For reservations/tickets, please call 908-709-0434 or visit Especially Yours Florist at 13 North 20th Street, Kenilworth.
Proceeds from the Tea and Gift Auction will benefit the Kenilworth Historical Society’s Oswald J. Nitschke House (c. 1880) “living history” museum and cultural arts center by helping defray operating expenses, including the cost of an elevator that makes all levels of the site (“living history” museum, exhibition center and cultural arts center) fully accessible to everyone.
Rajoppi is a notable pathfinder in her own right, having been the first woman in Union County’s history to be elected Union County Clerk, a role that she has fulfilled since 1995; the first woman to serve as Union County Register of Deeds and Mortgages, a position that she held for 12 years prior to her election as Union County Clerk; the first woman to chair the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1980, after being elected to the board in 1978; and the first woman to be named mayor of Springfield in 1977. Rajoppi also served on the Springfield board of education and township committee. In 1981, she was appointed New Jersey’s Assistant Secretary of State by the late former Gov. Brendan Byrne.
In 2018, Rajoppi received the prestigious National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) “Women in American History Award” from the Crane’s Ford Chapter of the DAR in recognition of her many significant contributions to history, culture and society.
Rajoppi additionally has attained recognition in the field of literature, having authored three books – The Civil War in New Brunswick: The Brunswick Boys and the Great Rebellion; Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War – The Wives and Daughters of the Brunswick Boys; and the nationally acclaimed Women in Office: Getting There and Staying There. Rajoppi’s publications have received National Women’s Press Association, New Jersey Women’s Press Association and North Jersey Civil War Roundtable Book honors.
Rajoppi earned her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and her master’s degree in public administration from the Center for Public Service at Seton Hall University. She has received multiple National Association of Counties Achievement Awards for innovative and creative management.
Rajoppi is president and a trustee of the Union County Historical Society and a member of the Union Township Historical Society. She chaired the Union County Courthouse Centennial Celebration Committee in 2005 and Union County’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee in 2012.
The Kenilworth Historical Society (www.kenilworthhistoricalsociety.org) is an independent, volunteer-based, non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the research, preservation and interpretation of the Oswald J. Nitschke House (c. 1880), local history and culture.
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PHOTO DESCRIPTION 1: Nationally acclaimed author and historian Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi will highlight women’s valiant, decades-long struggle in winning the right to vote, including pursuits by local and Union County pathfinders, as part of her featured presentation during a Victorian “Pink Tea” that the Kenilworth Historical Society will be presenting on Sat., Nov. 6, 2021, in celebration of “100 Years and More of Votes for Women.” Admission is $30. Advance reservations are required and may be made by calling 908-709-0434.
PHOTO DESCRIPTION 2: Shown here is a contingent of New Jersey women welcoming envoys from California during the Women’s Suffrage movement that led to ratification, in 1920, of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. The valiant, decades-long struggle that led to such voting privilege, particularly in Union County, will be the focus of a presentation to be made by nationally acclaimed author and historian Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi during a Victorian “Pink Tea” that the Kenilworth Historical Society will be presenting on Sat., Nov. 6, 2021, in celebration of “100 Years and More of Votes for Women.” Admission is $30. Advance reservations are required and may be made by calling 908-709-0434.
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