The Kansas Legislature Officially Adopts the “Kansas Angels at Sunset” Centennial to Honor Suffragists

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On April 25, 2012, the Kansas legislature approved and adopted the “Kansas Angels at Sunset” Centennial in recognition of the passage of Kansas Suffrage in 1912. According to Kansas House Representative TerriLois Gregory of the 10th District, the centennial was so named because Tom Mach, the author of a historical novel named Angels at Sunset, worked tirelessly to convince the state of Kansas to honor those women who had finally succeeded in securing the right to vote in Kansas.

Angels at Sunset by Tom Mach

Angels at Sunset is another of the great stories of ordinary people who achieve great things at great personal cost

Tom Mach, author of Angels at Sunset, was honored last month for his efforts in securing through the Kansas legislature a resolution proclaiming 2012 as the centennial for the passage of women's suffrage in Kansas. While the resolution was presented in the House by Kansas Representative TerriLois Gregory on March 20, it was not until April 25 that it was voted on and approved. According to Gregory, this resolution was officially named the "Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial," in order to recognize Tom Mach's latest book about the suffrage movement. Gregory said "Angels at Sunset is another of the great stories of ordinary people who achieve great things at great personal expense" Angels at Sunset, according to author Tom Mach, depicts a fictional woman named Jessica Radford who, in 1920--after the passage of the 19th Amendment--relives memories of her involvement with suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Alice Paul. The foreword to this book was written by Coline Jenkins, the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton herself. Shirley Johnson, a senior reviewer for the Midwest Book Review, said that Angels at Sunset is "an exceptional read, great story and history all wrapped up in one."

HR6020, the resolution which was passed by the Kansas Legislature reads as follows:

A RESOLUTION commemorating the Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial.
WHEREAS, In l912, the great state of Kansas distinguished itself by becoming the eighth state in the nation to permanently enact women's suffrage. When election day came on November 5, 1912, hundreds of women worked at the polls all day, and sat up far into the night for the returns. They felt their efforts were sufficiently rewarded when the final count showed 175,246 votes for the amendment and 159,197 against; and
WHEREAS, Kansas' action inspired and reinvigorated the national suffrage movement, which culminated in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in l920, assuring all women in the nation the right to vote; and
WHEREAS, 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the state of Kansas; and
WHEREAS, The Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial are to be recognized and given special emphasis for their continuing efforts and influence in the Kansas women's suffrage movement in the late 1800s. The Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial worked diligently to achieve success even when it appeared that the sun would set on their efforts; and
WHEREAS, In commemorating the Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial, Kansans will be celebrating the basic inclusive principles of democracy, the long and arduous road to achievement of women's suffrage, and the continually expanding roles of women in public and private life; and Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas: That we commend and recognize the diligent and instrumental efforts of the Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial in their role in the women's suffrage movement in Kansas; and
Be it further resolved: That we recognize the centrality of women's suffrage to democratic values, express appreciation to those who have prepared public exhibits on women's suffrage in the state capitol and encourage all Kansans to visit, enjoy and learn from such displays and exhibits;
Be it further resolved: That the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives shall send five enrolled copies of this resolution to Representative Gregory.

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