November 9, 1914,
One hundred years ago today The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that, after viewing the election returns, the suffragists were able to re-write the map of suffrage states to include Montana and Nevada. Dr. Ana Shaw confidently predicted that “in ten years the entire country will be won for equal suffrage.” Happily, we know it only took six more albeit tumultuous, painful years.
But it is also upsetting to learn that only about 33% of the eligible electorate (both men and women) voted in the past election. How quickly people forget the supreme effort and sacrifices it took to obtain that right. Susan B. Anthony’s said it so eloquently:
We will someday be heeded, and… everyone will think it was always so, just exactly as many young people think that all the privileges, all the freedom, all the enjoyments that woman now possesses always were hers. They have no idea of how every single inch of ground that she stands upon today has been gained by the hard work of some little handful of women of the past.
We have work to do before the next election, reminding both men and women to exercise that precious hard-won right.