On the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that the state will build two states honoring suffragists Rosalie Gardiner Jones and Sojourner Truth.
The statue of Gardiner Jones will be built in Cold Spring Harbor State Park in the town of Huntington, Suffolk County. Truth's statue will be on the Empire State Trail in Ulster County.
Gardiner Jones is best known for leading marches to Albany and Washington to advocate for women's suffrage. She was born in Cold Spring Harbor.
Truth, who was born into slavery in Ulster County, escaped in 1826 and became a leading abolitionist.
There will be a call for submissions to select the statue designs, according to the governor's office. There are 25 statues on state property, but only two honor women. There is a statue of Dr. Mary Walker, a Civil War surgeon, in Oswego. Mary Jemison, a frontierswoman, is honored at Letchworth State Park.
The statues were announced on a historic day in New York. The state marked the women's suffrage centennial Monday. Women won the right to vote in New York in 1917 — three years before the 19th amendment was ratified.
Cuomo and Hochul released a proclamation declaring November as Women's Suffrage Centennial Month in New York.
"From the suffrage movement's launch right here in Seneca Falls to the historic Women's Equality Agenda, New York leads the nation in fighting for women's rights, and we are proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in our state and the bravery and perseverance of the women who paved the way," Cuomo said.
The New York State Women's Suffrage Commission, which is chaired by Hochul, will hold a celebration Monday in New York City. Buildings across the state, including One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building in Manhattan, will be lit in purple and gold to commemorate the achievement.
Several structures in central New York, including the New York State Fair main gate in Geddes, will be lit in purple and gold to celebrate the centennial.
"People in cities across the state should look to the skies this evening, which will be lit up in purple and gold, and feel pride in our history," Hochul said.
"At the same time, as the state's highest ranking elected woman and the chair of the commission celebrating this historic occasion, I am inspired by the next generation of young women who will carry the torch and fulfill our vision of equality and create a culture of respect and inclusion for all women, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender at birth, or sexual orientation."
The state has other plans to celebrate the women's suffrage centennial. Commemorative "I Voted" stickers will be distributed at polling locations across the state Tuesday.
New York is also relaunching the #FindtheSentiments challenge to locate the Declaration of Sentiments. The original copy of the document, which was ratified at the Seneca Falls convention, is missing.