My first introduction to the history of suffrage may or may not (definitely was) Mrs. Banks’ “Sister Suffragette!” in Disney’s Mary Poppins—which isn’t even the right country for this anniversary, but such is life.
Today marks the 91st anniversary of the 19th amendment securing female suffrage in the United States, so kindly brought to my attention by The New York Times daily morning email. For our educational enrichment, the newspaper has posted the original article entitled “Colby Proclaims Woman Suffrage,” along with an image of the front page on which it appeared.
Secretary of State Colby signed the proclamation at his residence without fanfare or suffragette witnesses, much to the dismay of the National Woman’s Party:
“It was quite tragic,” declared Mrs. Abby Scott Baker of the National Woman’s Party. “This was the final culmination of the women’s fight, and, women, irrespective of factions, should have been allowed to be present when the proclamation was signed. However the women of America have fought a big fight and nothing can take from them their triumph.”
Remarks from Colby included:
“I confidently believe,” said the Secretary, “that every salutary, forward and upward force in our public life will receive fresh vigor and reinforcement from the enfranchisement of the women of America. To the leaders of this great movement I tender my sincere congratulations. To every one, from the president, who uttered the call to duty, whenever the cause seemed to falter, to the humblest worker in this great reform, the praise not only of this generation but of posterity will be freely given.”
So, if you are an American lady and you do not take advantage of your right to vote, you should really reconsider why on earth you would do such a disservice to yourself and to the United States. Go vote the next time you have a chance—every election is important!