Founding Feminists is FMF’s daily herstory column
March 30, 1930: Hard as it may be to believe that a decade has passed since the battle over woman suffrage was still being furiously fought, the celebrations marking the victorious end of the “Votes for Women” struggle on August 26, 1920, are already well under way and all generations of suffragists will be honored during this 10th anniversary year.
It was announced today that when the League of Women Voters meets in Louisville, Kentucky, from April 28th until May 3rd, many of those who spent decades in the forefront of the suffrage struggle will attend. Among those to be honored is Alice Stone Blackwell. Born on September 14, 1857, she is the daughter of Lucy Stone (1818-1893) and Henry B. Blackwell (1825-1909). Upon graduation from Boston University in 1881, she joined her parents as an editor of the influential “Woman’s Journal” and continued at that work until 1917, when the Journal was sold and merged with two other publications to become the “Woman Citizen.” Blackwell has since written a biography of her mother (“Lucy Stone: Pioneer of Women’s Rights”) to be published this year by Little, Brown & Company.
Another veteran suffragist who will be attending is Carrie Chapman Catt. Born on January 9, 1859, she became an active suffragist in the 1880s and served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1900 – 1904, succeeding Susan B. Anthony. She was chosen to lead N.A.W.S.A. again during the crucial years of 1915 – 1920. In 1919, Catt proposed that a League of Women Voters be the successor to the National American Woman Suffrage Association when the ballot was won in America and she served as president of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance from 1904 – 1923. Since the end of the U.S. suffrage struggle she has been actively involved in promoting world peace.
Among the younger suffragists who will be honored is Judge Florence Allen, age 46, of the Ohio Supreme Court. She is the first woman to serve there. She worked tirelessly for suffrage in the Buckeye State during many suffrage referenda beginning in 1912. As a sign of support, she also spent two days hiking along with “General” Rosalie Jones and her suffragist “Army of the Hudson” on their trek from Newark, New Jersey, to Washington, D.C. from February 12 – 28, 1913.
Four days ago there was a nationwide NBC radio broadcast celebrating the upcoming anniversary of the suffrage victory, featuring speeches by Carrie Chapman Catt and Belle Sherwin, president of the League of Women Voters. It is hoped that there will be more such events as the August 26th anniversary approaches and that these reminders of how long and difficult the struggle was, as recalled by those who were immersed in it for so many years, will spur even more women to vote and become active in political life.