It’s about the pain, determination and success among the Women of the Suffragette movement!
As I have stated before in my blog, on Facebook and InYourFace, most of our Presidents have fallen short of their Humanitarian responsibilities, thus violating the inherent rights granted to us by heavenly and earthly powers.
But how can anyone,.. who’se embraced morality, point an accusing finger at a President if during his time in office founded: League of Nations · Federal Reserve · Committee on Public Information · Federal Trade Commission · War Industries Board · National Park Service · Chatham House · Nassau Club · National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics · National War Labor Board · Council of National Defense. “As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933″. He also in 1917 he led the United States during World War I, then established an activist foreign policy known as Wilsonianism.”
Those are facts and certainly there are his critics that point out that his actions (or inactions) as it relates to his sociological and economic policies leading up to and during the war failed. And this is why I am re-introducing this President into our upside-down lives? He failed miserably at his notions about a “harmonious world born of his humanitarian vision”.
The sign read …Mr. President, How long must Women wait for Liberty
When we think of Woman’s Suffrage, the name Susan B. Anthony’s name is top-of-mind for her dedication to social reform. In 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who became her lifelong friend and co-worker in social reform activities, primarily in the field of women’s rights. In 1852, they founded the New York Women’s State Temperance Society after Anthony was prevented from speaking at a temperance conference because she was female. In 1863, they founded the Women’s Loyal National League, which conducted the largest petition drive in United States history up to that time, collecting nearly 400,000 signatures in support of the abolition of slavery. In 1866, they created the American Equal Rights Association, which campaigned for equal rights for both women and African Americans. The Susan B Anthony Amendment that would give women the right to vote would not pass in Congress until 1919.
Just prior to Wilson’s inauguration for his first term, staging a huge movement, 5,000 Suffragists (20 parade floats, nine bands, four mounted brigades) marched up Pennsylvania Avenue right to 1600. Frequent demonstrations followed. Their signs were torn away from them, causing some to fall to the ground, many were hurt. Men were marching next to them, heckling, harassing them each time they marched.
Five months later the USA entered into the “War To End All Wars”. Four years then passed, and women have yet to receive the right to vote! However, many women volunteered into service which had a very positive impact on their cause. If they could serve their country during wartime, a time of need, why could they not vote?
Wilson was reelected in 1916. His inauguration ceremony was in March. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns wanted to make an impact at this highly visible occasion. They would hear a plan offered by Harriot Stanton Blanch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. “Picketing”, practiced by many public causes, according to Harriot was played out. They needed a different strategy, that was, to get in face of POTUS; right under his nose in front of the White House.
They formed a long line of a thousand at the Capitol, Wilson’s day of inauguration; bearing a banner, “Mr. President, How long must Women wait for Liberty”. Wilson was clearly disturbed. The protestors had gathered the attention of many, as now there are five thousand supporters in attendance.
So, they formed vigils, day and night, having two-hour shifts, bundled up in the cold of winter beginning on January 10, 1917 and for months after. Wilson would walk past them, tip his hat and smile his best humanitarian smile. They followed a code that was to make them safe, very much unlike those that we see now. The “Silent Sentinels” as they became known were women of honor and distinction!
At another highly visible event in June of 1917, while the Russian delegation was meeting, Lucy Burns held a ten-foot banner which said “America is not a Democracy, twenty million women are denied the right to vote”
Nice move, gotta Love it! and indeed did that stir the pot by embarrassing those members of Congress and caused Wilson’s white starched collar to singe. Averse to the actions of Lucy (I take a slight authors prerogative and translate her name as The Light), rage poured out in many forms from men and woman. [Seems as though those same people are with us now].
They were Woman, hear them “Roar”!
Dirty Deeds followed them. The women were arrested for obstructing traffic. Their signs were torn from them. They were shoved to the ground and accused of resisting arrest. The administration did not want them to be viewed as victims, so they were offered to pay a fine of $25.00 in lieu of jail time. They refused and were put in jail. There were 32 women there at one time, 72 in total were jailed. Roughed up, belittled, given inedible food and their clothes were torn and dirty. They insisted on serving out their jail time. Lucy and some others went on a hunger strike. For fear that they would die as a result, they were put in straight jackets and force feed.
Then through interviews, the many newspaper articles published, and the positive attention gathered combined with all the other activity in support of women’s suffrage, basically forced Woodrow Wilson to go to the Congress and ask them to pass an amendment. After five tries, they actually did in 1918. Then the amendment was sent around to the states for ratification. In August of 1920, 100 years ago the 19th Amendment became a law.
And that’s why, noe in March we are now celebrating the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th amendment.
In 1920, not everyone in the United States could vote. Even though women had been given the right to vote, Native Americans couldn’t vote, Asian Americans couldn’t vote, citizens of District of Columbia and of the territories of the United States could not vote. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that everyone in the United States who was a citizen over the age of 18, could vote.