Tag Archives: suffrage movement

Day #5 of the ‘Night of Terror” observance & the “why” of the White House picketing

Marguerite Kearns at Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

I’m late getting the blog post Day#5 finished, but it’s still 10:54 p.m. where I am. One of my stalwart friends asked me the other day: “But why did the women picket the White House in 1917? Couldn’t they have expressed their point of view in some other way?”

Good question and one that I welcome in this fifth day of partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to raise awareness of and support for the building of a suffragist memorial to honor those brave women who experienced the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC in 1917.

When you look at the 1917 picketing from a larger perspective, put yourself back into time. How would you feel as someone in the second generation of women petitioning for the right to vote? Then turn the clock back to 1848 and the women’s convention at Seneca Falls, NY. This wasn’t the first occasion when women decided that enough was enough. But it’s the date when we start counting as far as the suffrage movement is concerned –when there’s no doubt that the nation heard the rumblings from impatient citizens who demanded participation in the public arena. The suffrage movement started in 1848 and concluded in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Keep this in mind: it was touch and go for a great deal of that time.

Think of it. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others spent 50 years petitioning for the vote by the turn of the 20th century. This is when my grandmother Edna Kearns and her generation stepped up to the plate and took over from the first wave of activists. By 1917, women had been working themselves into states of exhaustion by continuing to pressure for the right to vote. I’ve written a lot about Grandmother Edna Kearns. Here’s a video where she speaks for herself.

By 1917, my grandmother Edna B. Kearns had been in the suffrage fold for at least a decade. When’s the last time you spent ten years working on a single cause? Did you burn out? Were you even a bit annoyed or frustrated at your lack of progress? When the National Woman’s Party announced the White House picketing in 1917, many activists didn’t hesitate to join. However, others condemned them for taking such a bold action. The “suffrage movement” wasn’t one movement. It existed under an umbrella of women from many backgrounds.

Women joined the picket line from all over the United States. The National Woman’s Party needed people on the front lines who were prepared to go to prison, if necessary. And without the extraordinary support network that stretched across the United States, the campaign wouldn’t have been as effective.

This is Day #5 of blogging to honor the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

COMING SOON: The eight audio podcast series called the “Night of Terror.” You’ll get a ring-side seat account about what happened on November 15, 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4)

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

On Day #4, ELECTION DAY, fire up the oven for hot treats!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The picketing of the White House started in January of 1917 and went on for over a year. Standing in front of the White House gates with a picket sign was no walk in the park. So, a cup of hot tea and some goodies must have sounded terrific at the end of the day.

This is why a visit to Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is a perfect way to honor Election Day and the November 15th observance.  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is the “go to” place if you’re on a college or university campus and would like to host a fundraiser for the Occoquan Workhouse suffragist prisoners’ memorial. And you can quickly put together a fundraiser at home with a little determination and a recipe for traditional English scones.

This is my fourth day blogging in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership between Suffrage Wagon News Channel and Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Turning Point has a web site and blog. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a great deal of activity going on at Suffrage Wagon and Turning Point these days. The goal? To fund and complete a memorial to the brave women who faced the “Night of Terror” November 14-15, 1917.

And now the fun part: Let’s cook up a storm with a fundraiser for the memorial right in your own home or school, organization, or college campus. Video about how to make traditional English scones for a fundraiser.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School‘s video guides you through making traditional English scones like suffrage activists used to make. Hot tea and goodies must have been welcome treats after a long day out in the streets speaking from soapboxes or picketing the White House.

Baking scones is part of the two-week observance of November 15th this year when Suffrage Wagon News Channel partners with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. It isn’t easy raising money to build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House in 1917 and then were held at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC to experience the “Night of Terror.” That’s why we love having you along for the ride. Find out how you can host a fundraiser with friends and family. Contribute to and support the proposed suffragist memorial with the goal of it being completed before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial celebration.

Carry the vision of a suffragist memorial forward. These events and celebrations are part of the previews of suffrage centennial observances now and in the future. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for updates about suffrage centennials. If you’re planning a centennial event, let SuffrageCentennials know about it.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is a multi-media platform for news and stories of the suffrage movement that has been publishing since 2009. Follow the Suffrage Wagon. December 2014 is Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is inspired by the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon used by suffrage activist Edna Kearns in New York City and on Long Island.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3).

LINKS: “Why I vote and support a suffragist memorial”: Marguerite’s Musings.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Why I vote and support a suffragist memorial: “Marguerite’s Musings”

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

It’s that time of the year. Election Day tomorrow. Conversation is something we engage in every day, and too often I don’t take advantage of conversation opportunities to tell people what’s on my mind.

Like this past Sunday with me in my pajamas as I  opened the door to two women Jehovah’s Witness volunteers there to deliver a message about my salvation. This is a conversation challenge. I’ve closed the door too many times before saying I wasn’t interested in their latest pamphlet. OK, how can I respond to this conversation challenge? Why couldn’t Life have sent me a better test case?

I told them I’m concerned about the state of Mother Earth and much needed support in creating harmony and balance. They share with me their excitement about their new web site. They refer to passages in their Bibles with respectable blue covers and tell me again about their great web site. They probably have no idea about the crowded internet where millions of messages are dumped on unsuspecting souls each and every day.

What can I say that won’t unleash a longer lecture from them about salvation? The tea kettle is screaming at me from the stove. I forgot to turn off the humidifier and the red light’s blinking. So I grab for something –anything– to say.

“Tuesday’s Election Day,” I told them.

“We don’t get involved in politics,” they responded.

“I’m not suggesting you vote for any one person or party. I’m reminding you that it took 72 years for American women to win the right to vote. That’s why I vote. And I support the building of a suffragist memorial outside of Washington, DC. Voting and supporting the suffragist memorial are out of respect for my grandmother, great grandmother, other family members and ancestors who won the right to vote for us.”

“Oh, we had no idea.”

“Most people don’t either. That’s why I’m telling you.”

We exchanged parting greetings and affirmed the warm sunny Sunday, a memorable occasion that left me and two Jehovah’s Witness volunteers smiling. Mission accomplished. I closed the door and then rushed to turn off the tea kettle and fill the expired humidifier with fresh water.

Suffrage Wagon and the proposed suffrage memorial

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos.

Celebrate women’s freedom to vote. Visit Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, Suffrage Wagon’s partner in the November 15th “Night of Terror” campaign.

A homework assignment for the “Night of Terror: A basic video to start

Marguerite's Musings, a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The other day a friend of mine asked me for homework? “What do you mean?” I responded.  I couldn’t help but consider the question a joke. Then the talk grew serious. She really wanted a video, a podcast, or a crash course on the suffrage movement, an exciting part of American history. Either she’d been absent at school when the “Night of Terror” had been taught, or the 1917 picketing of the White House by American suffrage activists simply wasn’t in any of her teachers’ lesson plans. Fortunately Suffrage Wagon is partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial on the November 15th “Night of Terror” observance, or I wouldn’t have been able to respond so fast.

OK. Here it is. If you haven’t seen the Lady Gaga parody, watch it. The video always reveals surprises. And while you’re watching, imagine that the streets near the White House in 1917 as bedlam some days when the women lined up with their picket signs. By the time November 15th rolled around, things were hot and heavy at the Occoquan Workhouse, the scene of the “Night of Terror.” I always think of it personally, as when my grandmother Edna Kearns and my aunt, Serena Kearns, then 12 years old, joined hundreds of others from around the nation to stand vigil at the White House gates in the U.S. Capitol to press for change.

From November 1 through November 15, Suffrage Wagon News Channel is partnering with the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to draw attention to the “Night of Terror” at the Occuquan Workhouse near Washington, DC. This means that Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will be Tweeting like mad, and you can touch in with my musings over the next two weeks. Tweets and Facebook deliver the updates. Or you can subscribe by email.

Watch the video. Take a careful look at this music video produced in 2012 by Soomo Publishing that took the nation by storm and won a raft of awards for excellent educational programming. The “Bad Romance” video highlights the picketing at the White House, as well as the process of ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A lot to cram into a video of about three minutes. But it’s worth the effort. It takes much more than three minutes to explain the suffrage movement that took 72 years. So consider yourself significantly up to speed. And pass this along this history to women voters headed for the polls on Tuesday. This video alone is reason enough to vote, but we’re building a foundation to celebrate suffrage centennials in the future, including the 2020 suffrage centennial.

The next two weeks constitutes a crash course on the suffrage movement, with the end point of the “Night of Terror” in mind on November 15th. In another segment of my “Musings,” I’ll review the content of the nine podcast series recently completed on Suffrage Wagon News Channel called “Playing POlitics with the President.” It gives the background as to why the suffragists of the National Woman’s Party picketed the White House in the first place. But I’ll get to that soon. Stay tuned!

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Suffrage centennials are getting a lot of play…

"Night of Terror" podcasts on Suffrage Wagon News ChannelSuffrage centennials are getting a lot of play these days. There’s special programming on WAMC Albany, NY today about the upcoming election called “Susan B. Anthony Voted. Did you?” And the upcoming “Night of Terror” podcasts to commemorate November 15th are in the works. Stay tuned! Both events above have the 2020 suffrage centennial celebration in mind.

Here’s the complete “Playing Politics with the President” story series in the event you missed any of the episodes: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7, Podcast #8, Podcast #9 of the nine-audio podcast series about US President Woodrow Wilson and the impending showdown over the issue of women voting. This is the leadup to when things became sticky and led Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party to picket the White House followed by prison time in 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse.

The audio series “Playing Politics with the President” is the background context to the upcoming “Night of Terror” audio podcasts. The audio podcasts are from Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920 book. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West and others.

FacebookCOMING SOON: The fall issue of the Suffrage Wagon quarterly newsletter. Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Please join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

New “Wonder Woman” Book, plus video, & final podcast for “Playing Politics with the President”

Wonder Woman bookThe Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore is out. I haven’t had a chance to order the book yet. The advance publicity says  the text makes a connection between Wonder Woman’s creator and the impact the suffrage movement had on him.

Today’s the last day of audio podcasts for “Playing Politics with the President.” My, you’ve been patient. Over the next few weeks we’ll be hearing the “Night of Terror” — a turning point in the suffrage movement in 1917 following the arrests at the White House and imprisonment at the Occoquan Workhouse. Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is holding its first annual “Night of Terror” observance from November 1 through the 15th as a fundraising event. Stay tuned!

VIDEO REMINDER: The fall issue of the Suffrage Wagon quarterly newsletter will be published soon. Make sure you’re subscribed. Issues are published in the summer, fall, winter, and spring.

PODCAST #9: “Playing Politics with the President.” Summary: As the activists of the National Woman’s Party ran out of options, Alice Paul and others shifted their sights to making suffrage a political issue and organizing the women voters of the Western states that won the franchise earlier than the rest of the nation. A comparison to the English suffrage movement is included in this final podcast of the series. The story is from Doris Stevens’ Jailed for Freedom, 1920. Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox.

Here’s the complete “Playing Politics with the President” story series: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7, Podcast #8, Podcast #9 of the nine-audio podcast series about US President Woodrow Wilson and the impending showdown over the issue of women voting. This is the leadup to when things became sticky and led to the National Woman’s Party picketing the White House and prison time in 1917.

FacebookFollow the Suffrage Wagon with email, on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. You can join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Marguerite’s Musings and Podcast #7, “Playing Politics with the President”

Marguerite's Musings

I’m delighted to announce that my cousin Rosalie Morales Kearns has launched a new press in Albany, New York specializing in women’s writings:

Shade Mountain Press. The first title, Egg Heaven, has been favorably reviewed in Booklist and Foreword Reviews. This is terrific news! I’ve been curled up in the outside hammock reading Egg Heaven during the late afternoon over the past few days.

PODCAST #7: “Playing Politics with the President.” We’re getting close to the end of the audio podcast series. Here’s the series so far: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7 of the nine-audio podcast series about Woodrow Wilson and the suffrage movement. The audio podcasts are produced by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. From Doris Stevens’ Jailed for Freedom, 1920.

A LAST MINUTE REMINDER: VISIT SENECA FALLS, NY:

Edna on a horseYour last chance to see the colorful countryside before all the gold and red leaves are on the ground and cold weather has set in. This past weekend Seneca Falls hosted people attending the Seneca Falls Dialogues. And don’t forget that special programs are ongoing at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park as well as exhibits at the National Womens Hall of Fame. Also, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday is coming up in November.

The Richard P. Hunt papers are open to the public at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park for the purpose of research. It’s a special event celebrating Richard Hunt’s 217th birthday. The Hunt House in Waterloo isn’t far from Seneca Falls. The Hunt papers include a thousand separate items dating from 1828 to 1856. Use the Hunt Family Papers weekdays by appointment from 9 to 4 at the park visitor center, 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls. A finding aid/guide is available on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/wori/historyculture/upload/HFP-Finding-Aid.pdf. Contact Vivien Rose, Chief of Cultural Resources, at 568-2991 ext. 5000 or vivien_rose@nps.gov to make arrangements to see the papers.

All sites within Women’s Rights National Historical Park are free and open to the public. Follow the park’s social media sites for Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/womensrightsnps) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/WomensRightsNPS) to learn more about upcoming programs.

FacebookFollow the Suffrage Wagon on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. You can join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.