Monthly Archives: September 2012

News Notes From All Over About Womens Suffrage Movement: September 2012

Here we go on a great ride through suffrage news notes from all over: 

Suffrage inspires high-end Paris fashionable clothing styles; designer supports freedom fashions; Documentary underway about the life of women’s history pioneer Gerta Lerner; the big picture for women globallysuffrage parade in San Diego; the votes of single women; Quebec women won vote in 1944; movement called Sluts Vote; a reminder about how primary documents teach; new historical suffrage marker in Oregon; Irish suffrage jewelry; a North Dakota editor speaks her mind; presidential site has suffrage exhibit; Schlesinger Library has new digital suffrage poster collection; political parties push for women’s votes; unique project featuring Susan B. Anthony’s quilt made when she was young; Suffrage storyteller makes history come alive; Amelia Bloomer historic marker; University of Rochester new important digital historic archive.

New Zealand is the first country in the world for women to vote. September is the 199th anniversary. This short video, below, shows the awareness of the New Zealanders of their accomplishment and the recognition that women in many parts of the world remain disenfranchised and worse.

News clips from New Zealand: Link #1, Link #2, Link #3, Link #4, Link #5

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Cool music video launches campaign targeting young voters

It’s exciting. It’s dramatic. Our suffrage ancestors would be proud. I’m speaking of the buzz around the upcoming elections. With both presidential contenders out to woo the votes of women, there’s more than I can even read online.

For starters, it was exciting when First Lady Michelle Obama mentioned suffrage activists being dragged off to jail in her speech to the Democratic National Convention in early September. The buzz about the suffrage movement is out there, and awareness of this period of our history is increasing, slowly but surely.

L.O.V.E. Let One Voice Emerge is a non-partisan campaign targeting young voters. Pass on the link. The upcoming election is pushing voting issues to the forefront!

Viral suffrage email gets renewed life by women voters before 2012 election

THIS EMAIL, WRITTEN BY NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST CONNIE SCHULTZ, WENT VIRAL A FEW YEARS AGO. It surfaces every election season. I know. It has come into my email box at least a dozen times and continues to remind us of what’s important. Send it to your friends. Now is the time! Here it is:

This applies to everyone. become knowledgeable and vote! We owe it to our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.
Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of “obstructing sidewalk traffic.” They beat Lucy Burns (photo above), chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis (photo above) into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed, and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the “Night of Terror” on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food –all of it colorless slop– was infested with worms.
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul (above), embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat, and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh MY memory. Some women won’t vote this year because – Why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining? Mrs Pauline Adams (above) in the prison garb she wore while serving a 60 day sentence.

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO’s movie “Iron Jawed Angels.” It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

Photo above of Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown ,  New York
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

Photo: Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women’s history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was –with herself. “One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,” she said. “What would those women think of the way I use, or don’t use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.” The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her “all over again.”

HBO has released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco/Bingo night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

Photo: Conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at  National Woman’s Party headquarters, Jackson Place , Washington , D.C. Left to right: Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer,  Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel,  Mabel Vernon (standing, right)

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: “Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.”

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.  We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party — remember to vote.

Photo: Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn.   Serving 3-day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Fall newsletter is on the stands!

GET THE FALL 2012 NEWSLETTER!

IN THIS ISSUE: New video: “Women Voters Thank Their Suffrage Ancestors”; Grandmother Edna’s suffrage campaign wagon seen by thousands at New York State Capitol building; the book scholar Susan Ware never wrote about Alice Paul; how Kansas almost didn’t have a 2012 Votes for Women centennial; those who would repeal the 19th amendment; join us for a virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton on November 12th; and more.

Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel’s newsletter and receive issues in your email four times a year. You can also sign up for Twitter, Facebook, a twice-weekly email blast, and more. Be up to date on what’s happening with suffrage programs, centennials, issues, celebrations, stories, and news.

Republicans and Democrats appeal to women voters in new video

New video about the Republicans and Democrats and their appeals to women voters.

The New Organizing Institute has resources and training for linking voting to leadership. Check out their activist toolbox. Our suffragist ancestors struggled for the right to vote. Now, use it!

See video clip about women’s suffrage parade in San Diego!

If you love to keep updated about the suffrage movement (now and then), then the Women’s History Weekly Digest is perfect for you. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is also regularly featured on Women’s History Carnival, a showcase of recent blogging about women’s and gender history.

Video about voting with slam poet Carlos Andrés Gómez who cites suffragist Alice Paul in an overview of voting rights:

Poster above: From Library of Congress.

Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter of Suffrage Wagon News Channel: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring! The fall issue will be on the stands soon. Have it delivered to you by email. If you have a suffrage news item,  submit it to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Make a quilt for the women’s suffrage movement

This online quilt project speaks to tradition and connecting with the grandmothers and great grandmothers. It’s digital and exciting, whether or not you’re actually working on a suffrage quilt. I’ve signed up, just to be a vicarious participant. The site is:

And the suffrage quilt block changes every week. The research about suffragists and the suffrage movement is splendid. The activity is delightful. Here’s the block of one week:

As I check in every week with the progress of the suffrage quilt, I am delighted and impressed following along with the research invested in the project. Even if you don’t make a quilt, you’ll enjoy being part of the quilting circle. Check out grandmotherschoice.blogspot.com

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is accepting press releases of suffrage programs and events. Find out how to submit your releases.

The suffragettes are alive and kicking in the UK . . .

Even The New York Times has picked up on the feisty British women who have a Suffragette Summer School scheduled for September 2012. A new generation of activists are looking to their suffrage tradition and history to propel themselves into motion. Is the suffrage movement a thing of the past? “No,” they respond in a loud voice.

This side of the Atlantic there’s not quite as much matching the enthusiasm and passion of linking the past with the present, although this is changing, especially during this election season. For too long the American suffrage movement has been put on the shelf as something old fashioned and stuffy. So let’s take a close look at the UK and check out the Suffragette Summer School.

There’s a series of links from the UK  and US media that puts the Suffragette Summer School into perspective. Link #1   Link #2   Link #3  Link #4

This video link gives an overview:

Photo: 1908. A suffragette meeting in Caxton Hall, Manchester, England. Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Emmeline Pankhurst stand in the center of the platform. New York Times photo album. Image is in the public domain.

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