Tag Archives: women voters

100 Years Ago: What was Edna Kearns thinking about? Going to the ball!

2015 is the centennial of the 1915 New York State suffrage centennial on Vimeo.


1915 special feature

Edna Kearns: 100 years ago

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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

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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.

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.

Podcast #6: “Playing Politics with the President”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Audio Podcast #6: In the story background of this audio series, many suffrage activists played a waiting game with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. First, they decided to use each and every opportunity to work through the political system. Once everything else has been tried with no substantial results, they understood the necessity to move to another level.

This audio podcast gives the overview and background which means you’ll have to be patient sitting through a two-minute explanation of the view that persistence and determination will pay off… eventually. The tale is from real life. A waiting game. No car chases. Just the nuts and bolts of what it took over time for women to win the vote in the United States. Listen to this sixth podcast in the series about the long campaign in “Playing Politics with the President.”

The piece starts out by discussing the suffrage association’s annual budget spent on lobbying for an amendment to the Constitution in the context of suffragist Alice Paul’s leadership and organizing. If this is the first time you’ve checked into this audio series, you might be scratching your head and wondering what this is all about. The story: suffrage movement strategy is shifting from a state to a national strategy to win the vote. Soon in the chronology they’ll be considering a bolder and more direct approach. There are some nuggets of factual gold to be found in this descriptive swamp of Washington, DC politics.

SUMMARY SO FAR: “Playing Politics with the President”: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6 of the nine-audio podcast series. The content is from Doris Stevens’ book, Jailed for Freedom, 1921. Audio production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox.

VIDEO COMING SOON: Traditional English scones from Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. It’s a great idea when planning your next social gathering or fundraiser to invite friends, family, or for your organization.

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.

Suffragette graphic novel and Votes for Women a la fashion!

Sally Heathcote, SuffragetteThis week’s release of the new graphic novel, Sally Heathcote: Suffragette and Chanel’s version of a Votes for Women parade are headliners this week. Audio Podcast #5 of the series “Playing Politics with the President” will be postponed until Thursday.

We’re pushing everything aside to talk about the release of the suffrage movement graphic novel, Sally Heathcote: Suffragette. I haven’t seen it yet, but the YouTube video from the UK gives an overview. So take a look at the video.

Meanwhile, CHANEL staged a commercial suffrage movement mock protest when it showcased its Spring/Summer 2015 line in late September. The suffragists in their day may have had fashion on their minds, though they wouldn’t have approved of the short skirts and stripes that look great only on women with rail-like figures. But they say that all publicity is good publicity! The word is getting out about a movement that was revolutionary in its day, and it’s inspiring us now! The reminders of this great movement are arriving in packages we might not have expected: fashion and graphic novel.

CHANEL fashion line

Handy links about the new graphic novel release: Author Mary Talbott’s web site. NPR review of the suffrage graphic novel. Book review from the Guardian.


Follow the Suffrage Wagon on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe by email. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and video. Take a few minutes later this week for Podcast #5 of the ongoing audio series, “Playing Politics with the President.” It’s a focus on 1913 and the brute persistence of those activists who refused to take “no” for an answer.

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Podcast #4: “Playing Politics with the President”

Doris StevensAudio Podcast #4 of “Playing Politics with the President” takes us behind the scenes to the nitty gritty business of laying on the pressure.

In the last podcast, #3 the suffragists took their appeal to Congress in 1913. Petitions were delivered there for the first time in 26 years. The women activists thought this would be enough. “Four million women voters are watching you,” became the mantra. The Congressional representatives were polite, and the matter taken seriously at least on the surface. But it became clear voting would have to become a political issue. Wilson’s agenda of tariff and currency had been addressed. But he hadn’t taken any of his promised steps toward supporting votes for women. A delegation from Wilson’s home state, New Jersey, paid a call on the president and he promised to give the matter his “earnest attention.” But was Woodrow Wilson serious?

Find out in Podcast #4 of “Playing Politics with the President.” Doris Stevens in her book, “Jailed for Congress” notes that Woodrow Wilson took a baby step. But more pressure would be necessary. When the suffragists appealed to the Democratic Party, they considered their advantages and disadvantages. “We cannot wait,” they said.

“Playing Politics with the President”: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3 of the nine-audio podcast series. The “Playing Politics with the President” audio podcast series is produced by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by J.M. Smallheer. From Doris Stevens’ book, Jailed for Freedom. Image: Doris Stevens.

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New music video, the “Spirit of 1776,” highlights the patriotic protest representative of the suffrage movement on the national, state and local levels.