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.