Monday, November 1, 2010

November 2 - Women Honor Your Vote!

Throughout the course of time there were many groups and conventions promoting the right to vote for women. Lucy Burns and Alice Paul organized the Congressional Union eventually changing the name to the National Women's Party which got them noticed. Their tactics were more radical and militant than the groups that preceded them and included hunger strikes, picketing the White House, and engaging in other forms of civil disobedience to publicize the suffrage cause.

In 1917 members of the movement staged a massive protest in front of the Whitehouse in Washington DC. Hundreds of women were arrested on charges of "obstructing sidewalk traffic." 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 women convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

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.

They beat Lucy Burns, 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 into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, 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.

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, 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.

On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and 2 weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920, changing the face of the American electorateforever.

So ladies, 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.

PS: Portions of this days blog are plagerized from various sources. 

1 comment:

Jim said...

All of us should vote. The trouble comes after that when the victor morphs into just another greedy, arrogant nightmare. And it doesn't matter which party he or she 'represents'. What they don't represent (representatives, remember?) is us.