The Paper of Montgomery Co. | Crawfordsville, IN
Home | Subscribe | The Paper | Contact Us

home : columnists : league of women voters September 15, 2014


8/20/2014 6:27:00 PM
League celebrates 94 years of women's suffrage
By The League of Women Voters


August 26 marks the 94th anniversary of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. This achievement on August 26, 1920 was a result of a 72 year effort by visionary and courageous women who lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and organized demonstrations in support of suffrage.

The fight for woman suffrage had its roots in the 1848 "Declaration of Sentiments" drawn up at the first women's rights convention which was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Early suffrage leaders-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Myra Bradwell, Zerelda Wallace (step-mother of Lew Wallace) and many more-worked tirelessly for women's suffrage during the later half of the 19th century. Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite chaired the organizing committee for Woman's Suffrage Association of Montgomery County.

In 1890, Wyoming became the first state permitting suffrage for women. By 1900, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho also allowed women to vote. Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in 1912 became the first national political party to have a plank supporting women's suffrage.

In 1900, Susan B. Anthony had handed the leadership of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association over to Carrie Chapman Catt who was a talented and interesting individual. Raised in Iowa, Catt was the only woman in her Iowa Agriculture College (now Iowa State) class from which she graduated in three years as the top student. In 1883, she became one of the first women in the nation appointed superintendent of a public school system. Widowed twice, she was an outstanding speaker and strategist with organizational skills and political savvy.

After traveling abroad to help create the International Women Suffrage Alliance (32 countries) and to promote suffrage rights world wide, Catt resumed leadership of the NAWSA

and developed "the Winning Plan" to campaign at the same time for suffrage on both state and federal levels and to develop nonpartisan local organizations to lobby lawmakers and build public support for suffrage.

Younger suffragettes, led by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns of the National Woman's Party were very partisan, picketed the White House, were arrested and imprisoned, conducted hunger strikes and were force fed which dramatized the issue.

Interestingly, Crawfordsville native Will Hays, Chairman of the Republican National Party, was a key supporter for the women's right to vote.

The nonpartisan League of Women Voters was founded February 14, 1920 at the 51st Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Chicago. Under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt, the LWV was created to help educate and involve in the political process the soon to be enfranchised women throughout the United States.

The combination of public attention given to the National Women's Party's activists and the bipartisan lobbying by Catt's LWV, led to the final passage of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment (originally drafted in 1875) by the House of Representatives in May, 1919. Two weeks later, the amendment was passed in the Senate. In August, 1920 Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, overcoming the final hurdle of obtaining approval by the required three-fourths of the states.

The nature of the American electorate was changed forever when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920. August 26 is now celebrated as Women's Equality Day.

Having emerged from this noble tradition, the League of Women Voters today continues to work for the most fundamental democratic values, to protect the right to vote for all eligible citizens and to encourage informed and active participation in government.



The League of Women Voters is nonpartisan . As an organization , the League never supports or opposes candidates or parties. The League does work to increase public understanding of major policy issues and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join LWV where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For information about the League, visit the website: www.lwvmontco.org , send an e-mail to; lwvmontco@gmail.com or message to P.O.101; Crawfordsville, IN 47933.







Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


About The PaperWebcastAnnouncement FormsPhoto GalleryLife
The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

101 W. Main Street, Suite 300
P.O. Box 272
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
Main:
Classifieds:
Fax:
(765) 361-0100
(765) 361-8888
(765) 361-5901
Advertising:
Editorial:
(765) 361-0100
(765) 361-8888

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved
Advanced Search


Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE

Home
Calendar
Announcement Forms
Closings and Delays
Photo Gallery
Classifieds
Webcast
Links
Montgomery Memories
Puzzles