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League Newsletter September 2008




Volume 23, Issue 1                                                                                                            September, 2008





Join us on Thursday September 25-7:30at Princeton Township Hall.


Meet with other members of our local league and find out what the League is now doing.  Our speaker will be Ann Maiese, President of the State League, on a topic soon to be announced.

Be sure to attend and support your local league in this most important Election Year.






August 26–The anniversary of women’s Suffrage 

September 3 - Historical Society Exhibit at Bainbridge House

                    “Stand Up, Speak Out, Princeton Citizens Find Their Voice”

September 11- Committee of the Whole Meeting 

September 12- “Access to Universal Health Care : New Jersey, The Nation& the Globe”                                                                                              

 8:30-3:00 Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

September 16- State LWV Workshops

September 20- NJLWW Voter Registration Day 

September 25– Back to the League meeting

October 11– Program on Open Government sponsored by the Princeton League

                     Princeton Public Library 1-3

November 4- Election Day

November-   (TBA)-  Princeton League of Women Voters Meeting







    Adelaide Hagens

    Doris Ju

   Gertrude Schupbach







     The New Jersey League of Women Voters has called for a statewide voter registration day to be held on Saturday, September 20, 2008.  Rita Ludlum and I hope that the Princeton LWV can participate.  It takes six people to man a table in two to three hour shifts (two of us per table)  If ten or twelve members volunteered, we could serve voters at two locations- McCaffrey’s and Nassau Street.

     If you can spare time on September 20 to register voters, please let me know by September 5 so that I can plan and publicize our event. Rita and I will provide training if needed, but voter registration is straightforward and fun. 

From Chrystal Schivell






On August 7 Joan Bharucha conducted the Voter Registration training at the NJ Primary Care Association.  The Association had previously conducted a survey and found that less than 10% of their patients are registered to vote.  While there Joan distributed Citizen Guide booklets which were most appreciated. One of the secretaries stated “This is gold” explaining that every time she needed to get an address for some official, she had to search the Internet and print out a page from a Web site.  

Joan will also be doing Voter Registration at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market the four Saturdays in September.  This will be at the train station parking lot of Vaughn Drive from 9AM to 1PM. 






Please join the League of Women voters Princeton Area for an informative and lively discussion about open government, how to become more involved in your local government issues, how to find what you need from your elected officials, and constructive ideas for perhaps you, yourself, running for office!

Speakers from the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government, Join the Campaign, and more!

 Saturday October 11thfrom 1-3 at the Princeton public Library, co-sponsors of the event.

Ruth Mitchell



 88 Years of Stronger Democracy


August 26 marked the 88thanniversary of the day that the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote.  “What better day than the anniversary of the 19thAmendment, Women’s Equality Day, to recognize the progress we have made on voting rights in the Past 88 years,” said Mary G. Wilson National League president. “This election year has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of new voters, especially women, young people and minorities registering to vote.  There is a tremendous sense of excitement and energy driving this election.”


To read the full comments of the press release visit the national website at



From the Co-chair’s Desk


Welcome back from the beach, mountains or deep woods.  We hope you have lots of energy for a busy autumn with your LWV.  In addition to the usual Registration times and candidates’ nights we have added some interested evenings (see calendar).  As a climax to the season, we are planning to mark our 76thyear with an evening of celebration.  The date of November 12 has been set and we are in the process of choosing a site and formalizing a format.  Your Committee of the whole is proceeding with plans, but would love suggestions, volunteers to help with contacting members who have moved away, collecting the stories of some older memories.  This could be fun for you and involve an hour or two at most.  Rita and I have been browsing the archives and are humbled by the thoroughness of the studies and the amount of work, (often recorded in long hand) demonstrated by the members.  I singled out one study of the West Windsor Unit which addressed the complete absence of a Recreation Department in that town.  By collecting reams of data on all aspects of the state of recreation, getting LWV consensus and then presenting their facts to the Town government they were present at the birth of a West Windsor Recreation Department. There is a headline to prove it in the folder!  Thanks to the Historical Society all of you can browse our archives (by appointment) and find your own contribution to your community.  We hope you will be recovered from the election and join us.  Details will be available soon.

From Frieda Gilvarg – Membership Chair






    The Historical Society of Princeton’s exhibition “Stand up, speak Out; Princeton Citizens Find their Voice” opens to the public on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 and continues through July 5, 2009.  “Stand Up, Speak Out” examines issues of political participation and voting rights, particularly through the experiences of women, African Americans, and University students.  Visitors will learn about important episodes in our national history and explore their intersection with Princeton events.  Some activities of the Princeton League of Women Voters, founded in 1932, will be reflected in the Exhibit.

A special Exhibition Curator’s talk will be held on Sunday, October 5 at 2 PM.




Elinor Angoff

Geraldine Boone         


Esther Dresner

Marion Epstein

Virginia Lockwood

Louise J. Morse

Sandra Rabinowitz

Barbara Schwarschild

Doreen C. Spitzer


* If you feel that you qualify to be on this list or know of others who should, please contact

  Beverly Kestenis  at

Looking Back on Our League


As our Local Princeton League celebrates its 75thanniversary, the Update will include articles of interest on our past history.  This article written by Rita Ludlum and published in the Update several years ago is worth reprinting.  Be sure to visit the Historical Society exhibit for more reminiscences.




     The first organizational meeting of the Princeton League of Women Voters was held on October 13, 1932 with the object of interesting women in government.  A few weeks later, on October 31, the first formal meeting was held with Mrs. H.D. Eldridge presiding as president. The president of the New Jersey League of Voters spoke. Topics to be studied were listed as: 1. Efficiency in government, 2. Public welfare in government, 3. Legal status of women; 4. International cooperation to prevent war.  Also, a week before Election Day local candidates for the Republican, Democratic, and Socialist parties addressed the group of about fifty.


     By April of 1933 membership had more than doubled to 116.  Study groups were formed:  Women in Industry, Efficiency in government, Social Hygiene.  In 1935 State issues were studied:  Jury Reform, Voting Machines, Abolishing night work for Women, Enforcing the minimum wage, State reorganization.  Foreign policy was also explored.  There was a neutrality study group and a resolution “To Cooperate with the Cause and Cure of War Conference.”  Some public talks in those years were Dr. Buell of the Foreign Policy Association on “Manchuria and the Caribbean: A Comparison of Japanese and American Policy” and in 1936 Dr. Reischauer of the University who had lived in Japan gave a lecture, “Japan, a Factor in World Peace.”


     Many subjects of 1930’s study are still with us today:  a local and state study of Housing; an inter-racial meeting with the NAACP; a concern for the migratory child.  Topics in 1939 were Civil Liberties, child Welfare, Socialized Medicine: “Group Purchase of medical care should be tried for those unable to meet large emergency expenses.”


     Some topics sound very familiar.  These three from 1939: “The acute situation in this state results from the fact that many municipalities have incurred obligations for relief, based on promises of funds from the state which the Legislature is unable to keep”.  Or, the summer reading list drawn up for the members by Vice-President Margaret Sprout which included such titles as “Arab Awakening”, “Mediterranean Cross Currents”, and “Zionism and the Future of Palestine”. Then, a full-page article in the December 1939 League Bulletin against the Foran Bill introduced in the Legislature. It provided that aliens must carry a registration card at all times and “exhibit it to competent authorities.” It called for 24 hour detention which could be extended to 30 days and $500 bail.  In the League’s opinion, “There is no emergency to justify such risks”.


     Early in the decade the League had a Candidate Information Booth on Nassau Street. Later, the League’s bulletins had included candidate profiles.  In 1939 legislative candidates were included for the Democratic, Republican, Socialist, National Prohibition, and Old Age Pension parties.  Mrs. H. Baldwin Smith, wife of a Princeton professor, inaugurated a special bulletin of candidate information to be distributed to the public. In 1940, 4000 of these information sheets were distributed.  This was the beginning of League of Women Voters candidate information sheets.