100 Years Ago Today, July 24, 1916

out.pdfOn a hot summer day in 1916 a delegation of woman suffragists called on President Wilson to tell him a “large number of women voters” were waiting to decide for whom they would vote, and wanted to know how he and Charles E. Hughes, the Republican nominee who opposed him, stood on the Susan B. Anthony Constitutional amendment. The group, which included Long Island’s own Harriot Stanton Blatch, was referring to the women voters in the western states who enjoyed full franchise, and who could thus vote for candidates who would hopefully vote for universal suffrage.

In 1916 incumber Wilson was being challenged by Republican candidate Hughes, but he didn’t seem concerned, and was not about to give the suffragists any hope of victory. As was typical of his reaction, Wilson “did not commit himself,” but the women “felt encouraged.” Since Hughes was a Progressive, they also hoped he would win and advance the suffrage cause.

It was not to be. In the election of 1916 Wilson defeated Hughes by a small margin, and it would be another four long years of struggle before the dream of universal suffrage would become a reality.


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