Thursday, August 18, 2016

A mother's advice

I love these features on the NY Times website that talk about the back story - a historical perspective on some of the stuff that is happening in politics.

Here's the one from today:

Back Story

Marriage became an issue in the 1916 presidential election after President Woodrow Wilson’s first wife, Ellen, died in 1914 and he wed Edith Galt, the owner of a jewelry business in the capital, the next year.
The female reaction to Wilson’s remarriage worried his chief advisers, but he went on to carry most of the states where women were allowed to vote.
Women demonstrating outside the White House to demand voting rights, circa 1918. CreditAssociated Press
Their support helped push Wilson to endorse in 1918 a bill guaranteeing all American women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment did so and was ratified on this day in 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to pass it.
The number of female voters has exceeded the number of male voters in every presidential election since 1964.
A major drive for suffrage began in 1848, in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and was carried on in state legislatures, in Congress and in the streets.
Black men had won the right to vote with the 15th Amendment in 1870, but little was done to enforce that guarantee. Some in the women’s suffrage movement argued that women’s votes would balance those of newly enfranchised black men and immigrants, helping the 19th Amendment’s passage.
Most of the southern states had been opposed to it. But after a nine-day special session, a young Tennessee legislator changed his mind and cast the deciding vote.
Representative Harry T. Burn carried a letter from his mother in his pocket. “Hurry and vote for suffrage,” she wrote. “Don’t forget to be a good boy.”
He later explained: “I know that a mother’s advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification.”

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