Feb 8, 2012

Wednesday Women: Why Women Can Vote

Known as the Night of Terror ...arrested for protesting President Wilson outside the White House.. 

"The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and with their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."
"They beat Lucy Burn, 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."

Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on November 15, 1917 (a mere 95 years ago), 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. 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.

Alice Paul

If you haven't seen Iron Jawed Angels, I highly recommend that you do...it is an excellent depiction of these women's courageous acts resulting in pain,torture and suffering in their fight so women could vote... a right & privilege we now have because of them and should never take for granted..

Something that we, as women, have had only had since  August 26, 1920 when the United States ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The Suffragettes had fought for over 50 years for this...

Conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at National Woman's Party headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington , D.C. . L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul,Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right)

As the elections this November grow closer, please honor our Foremothers and their courageous fight for our right to vote by doing just that......Vote!

A big Thanks and Hug to Lura for sending this information on to me...


Bodhi said...

Such a very important reminder, Linda. Thank you.

laoi gaul~williams said...

thank you for this...such a dreadful thing to happen and not so long ago...when my great grandma was a young woman. i am glad to say i always vote

lucia m said...

love the post!


scarlett clay said...

Appreciate you sharing this, not a pretty part of our history, but one we need to remember.

Vintage Green said...

I remember when I saw Iron Jawed Angels I was blown away...couldn't
believe that could happen.
Thanks for the reminder!!

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