CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A historic marker devoted to a feminist and labor activist in New Hampshire who additionally led the Communist Occasion was eliminated Monday simply two weeks after it was unveiled.
The inexperienced and white signal describing the lifetime of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was put in Might 1 in Harmony near the place she was born in 1890. Nevertheless it rapidly drew criticism from two Republican members of the Government Council, the five-member physique that approves state contracts, judicial nominees and different positions. They argued it was inappropriate given Flynn’s communist involvement. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, in the meantime, referred to as for a assessment of the historic marker course of.
“All polices and tips have been adopted in eradicating this controversial marker,” mentioned Sununu’s spokesperson, Ben Vihstadt. He mentioned Harmony metropolis officers weren’t advocating to maintain it, and as soon as state officers realized it was on state property and never metropolis land as beforehand believed, the state eliminated it.
However supporters of the signal accused the state of violating its personal guidelines for the markers. They argued markers can solely be “retired” in the event that they comprise errors of reality, are in a state of disrepair or require refurbishment.
“We nonetheless say that below the division’s personal tips, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn’s birthplace in Harmony is a becoming location for a historic marker,” mentioned Mary Lee Sargent, a former U.S. historical past trainer and longtime labor and feminist activist.
Referred to as “The Insurgent Lady” for her fiery speeches, Flynn was a founding father of the American Civil Liberties Union who advocated for girls’s voting rights and entry to contraception. The marker additionally says she joined the Communist Occasion in 1936 and was despatched to jail in 1951. She was one in every of many celebration members prosecuted “below the infamous Smith Act,” the marker says, which forbade any makes an attempt to advocate, abet or educate the violent destruction of the U.S. authorities.
Flynn later chaired the Communist Occasion of the US and she or he died in Moscow throughout a go to in 1964, at age 74. Her marker was one in every of 278 throughout the state that describe individuals and locations – from Revolutionary Struggle troopers to up to date sports activities figures.
Underneath the present course of, any individual, municipality or company can recommend a marker so long as they get 20 signatures from New Hampshire residents. Supporters should draft the marker’s textual content and supply footnotes and copies of supporting documentation, in response to the state Division of Historic Assets. The division and a historic sources advisory group consider the factors.
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