Saturday, November 03, 2007

Get out and Vote: Womens Right To Vote

This is the story of voting 90 years ago! This is about our grandmothers and great-grandmothers who could not vote only 90 years ago.

It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

Some women were jailed for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

Authorities chained the hands of Lucy Bains to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

Dora Lewis was hurled 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.

Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly 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.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. (Alice Paul) 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.

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?

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. History is being made.


Mike Bock said...

Hi Ruth -- I just voted. I can't remember a more gorgeous day, almost 70 degrees and crystal blue skies. There should be an enormous voter turn-out.

I'll confess I've never heard any of the suffragette sufferings you write about. Thanks for helping to better educate me about a very very important part of American history. You've inspired me to do more reading on the topic.

I'm going to write some comments about the Kinlaw book soon.

Joan said...

Very informative! We must never forget the debt we owe to those who have gone before.

Carol said...

Very interesting. I learned some new stuff, too! And you are right. We DO owe it to the women who went through so much for the right to vote - to make sure we vote.