On July 27, 2008, The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area formally dedicated Turning Point Plaza, a new memorial dedicated to the suffragists imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse. "The League of Women Voters was started by the suffragists who continue to be models of courage for us," said Mary Grace Lintz, acting President of the Fairfax Area League of Women Voters.
Turning Point Plaza honors the women who were imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse located across from the current Occoquan Regional Park. In 1917, women suffragists were the first political group to protest in front of the White House. As a result, hundreds of women seeking the right to vote were imprisoned at both the D.C. Jail and the Occoquan Workhouse, part of the Lorton Prison complex. News reports of poor conditions and hunger strikes by the imprisoned suffragists were a turning point in the struggle for women's right to vote. These events led to the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote. Turning Point Plaza at Occoquan Regional Park will feature interpretive displays of these events and their significance.
"The struggles of people to gain the right to vote and participate in society as equals are stories that need to be told and retold to every generation. The stories of the suffragists, the end of slavery, and civil rights are the events that helped define America as the democracy it is today," stated Paul Gilbert, NVRPA Executive Director.
Phase II of the Turning Point Plaza will be a fitting suffragist memorial, which will include inserted plaques to commemorate the suffragist struggle for American women's right to vote. The final design is yet to be determined. If you would like to contribute to this fundraising effort, please visit the League of Women Voters' website, www.suffragistmemorial.org. Or you may send monetary donations to:
Northern Virginia Regional Park Foundation
5400 Ox Rd.
Fairfax Station, VA22039
Please make checks payable to: Northern Virginia Regional Park Foundation, please include Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Fund in the memo line
*all donations are tax deductible*