On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment took effect, granting women the right to vote. I had almost forgotten this and then I saw a trailer for the movie Suffragette.
This is a movie about the women’s fight to get the vote in England. It was a long and difficult fight. And these women were incredibly brave. They faced losing children. Being beaten. They won though. In 1918, women were finally allowed to vote in England. You go girls!
The same battle was going on here in America. Again, the women were ridiculed. They too could be beaten. Lose families. I know that some women actually went on hunger strikes and would be forced fed. Eventually, the arc of history bent towards justice, and we won the right to vote here. It was only two years later in 1920.
I do have to brag about Texas. We won the right to vote in state elections in 1918. And Texas was the 9th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. We Texas women are a determined lot. We want what we want and we get it!
I started thinking about how difficult it has been for women in the past. The battles they had to fight. Right to property. Access to education. Right to a decent pay. I got a few photos recently of women in my family. They were strong women, who had to deal with adversity. Fight to keep their family together. Fight to be able to earn a living.
My Great Grandmother Kate Carroll
Her husband Peter McCabe died 3 month before my grandmother Mary Alice was born. Kate was only 29 years old. She started a boarding house to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. She died before she got the right to vote.
My Grandmother Mary Alice with her sister Annie
Mary Alice worked in the Chicago Stock Yards. Her occupation was foreman. This was in 1910. Her sister Annie worked in at a book bindery and was active in union organiziing. Voting was a big deal for them. According to my mom, they never missed an election!
My Mom Kay Egan
She was called beautiful and brilliant. She worked as a supervisor nights for Spiegel’s while she went to college. She was also a model for Sach’s Fifth Avenue. I remembered when my dad died(he died young). Even though my mom made as much as he did, all her credit was cut off. She fought that and won! I think they were sorry they did it. She kept us together and got all her kids out of school.
True story. I was in nurse’s training the first time I could vote. Do you know that my mom started calling me at 6 a.m. to go and vote? I told her that it would have to wait until I got off of clinical. She called me throughout the day. I did go and vote with a group of my friends.
I could tell you all kinds of stories about them. They were all unique. Didn’t fit the mold of their time. They overcame what life dealt them. And I learned that I could do the same myself.
I want to thank all the women who came before us and fought for our right to vote. Never forget them.
There is a quiz below. Enjoy!
Try your luck and see how much you know about that history-changing amendment…
When Was the 19th Amendment First Introduced to Congress?
What Was the First State to Grant Women the Right to Vote?
Who Was President When the 19th Amendment Passed?
How Did Harry Burn’s Mother Save Suffrage?
For the answers!