Sunday, February 10, 2008

Suffrage in Selma

Granting women the right to vote was a hot topic of the early 20th Century, and the folks of Selma took sides in a big way. In 1915, all of Dallas County's state representatives supported the bill until a group of local attorneys passed around an anonymous pamphlet declaring the danger of such a proposal! Patriotism and manhood were questioned, and one Selmian called it a Yankee plot. Even the women were divided. The president of the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association was from Selma, but so was the president of the Alabama Association Opposed to Women Suffrage.

The pro-suffrage leader addressed the all-male legislature and told them:
"We feel we are your equals, and we want our right to vote to count at the polls. Women have been too long treated as irresponsible children, and now they want to share in the things that are going on."

The 19th Amendment passed, and Alabama's Legislature approved it, so the women of Selma voted for the first time in November 1920. In 1922, Selmian Harriet Hooker Wilkins was elected as the first woman legislator in Alabama. She defeated the state representative who first introduced the bill, then denounced it when he was accused of being less than manly.

9 comments:

Dan said...

Interesting post today. Thanks for the history lesson. I would add that Warren G Harding was elected in the same year women were given voting rights. I wonder if that prompted a movement to immediately repeal the ammendment ;)

Rambling Round said...

Dan, I didn't realize that! Guess the men REALLY didn't trust women voters after that!

Annie said...

Bravo for all those women who came before and fought for this very important right. Look today at how womens' votes are playing into the elections this year.

Jilly said...

What a fabulous post. Great information, super photos and newspaper articles and love those shoes! They say everything about that period.

re the Travel Channel you watched on Monaco and somewhere else - might it have been Eze? or maybe St. Paul de Vence?

Rambling Round said...

Jilly, thanks. It was Eze. Is that near Menton?

marley said...

Intersting history. Thank goodness for those determined women.

Southern Heart said...

What an interesting post...I learned so much, and I loved the photo, too!

Alexander said...

Nice. Interesting history.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

g_mirage said...

Great contrast in the colors but very symbolical, as pink is always associated with girls...thanks for the input!