Today I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated September 7, 1966. I found the announcement “Margaret Sanger Is Dead at 82; Led Campaign for Birth Control.” “…As the originator of the phrase ‘birth control’ and its best-known advocate, Margaret Sanger survived Federal indictments, a brief jail term, numerous lawsuits, hundreds of street-corner rallies and raids on her clinics to live to see much of the world accept her view that family planning is a basic human right…”
As per Wikipedia… “She founded the American Birth Control League (ABCL) in 1921 to enlarge her base of supporters to include the middle class. The founding principles of the ABCL were as follows: We hold that children should be (1) Conceived in love; (2) Born of the mother’s conscious desire; (3) And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.”
Today I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Times dated October 20, 1915. The headline is “New Jersey Beats Suffrage by 46,278; While President Wilson Votes ‘Yes,’ Mrs. Galt, his Fiancee, Is Out As Anti”. “Woman suffrage was defeated at the special election in New Jersey yesterday, when it had its first test in any Eastern State… President Wilson’s endorsement of the suffrage cause and his pledge to vote for the Constitutional amendment on which the suffragists of New Jersey had built such strong hopes did not help to carry the day for the suffragist even in the precinct where he himself cast his ballot yesterday… Mrs. Galt, the President’s fiancee, while Mr. Wilson was on his way to Princeton to vote “Yes,” let it be known in Washington that she is opposed to women voting…”.
While their opinion differed on the topic of suffrage, that did not hinder their relationship as they were married just two months later.
Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman), the American Journalist who became famous through her writing for Pulitzer’s New York World, is best remembered for her exposé regarding the horrific conditions within mental institutions obtained by faking her own insanity – taking investigative journalism to a whole new level, and her documentation of her record-breaking 72-day trip around the world as she emulated Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg from Around the World in 80 Days. However, few are aware of her intimate and informative interview with Susan B. Anthony, perhaps the only woman to rival her pioneering spirit, which was printed in the New York World, February 2, 1896. The article in its entirety may be viewed at:
Today I traveled to Fairmont, West Virginia, by the means of The Fairmont Times dated April 6, 1915. There I found a front page photo of Jess Willard who had just beaten world boxing champion Jack Johnson in the 26th round by a knock-out. This match held in Havana, Cuba, was the longest heavy-weight title fight of the 20th century. Jack Johnson was quoted “Fought hard enough to whip ten ordinary men.” There were reports that Johnson had thrown the fight, with Willard’s response being “If he was going to throw the fight, I wish he’d done it sooner. It was hotter than hell out there.”
And if news of physical suffering was not enough…
Also on the front page is reporting of the upcoming Suffrage Convention: “Suffrage Convention Plans Complete”, which was to be in held in Fairmont.
Today I traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts by way of the Springfield Daily Republican dated March 18, 1913 where I found coverage of a suffragist event held in England (see image below). The British militant suffragist had declared war against their sisters who were working for the vote for women by constitutional means. The meeting was thrown into disorder until ladies had to be ejected from the event and peace was restored.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, there are three small articles on the front page relating to this special day. One was of President Wilson wearing a shamrock sprig in his lapel and the reporting of “green” festivities at the Capitol. Another was the diversion of a waiters strike of the Irish national banquet in London. And the last is of Police Judge Killen who annually releases all the Irish from jail… check out that report!
This week I traveled to The Woman’s Journal of October 14, 1911. This issue was celebrating after waiting two days for the outcome of the California election on the suffrage vote… “reading first with despair, then with growing hope and finally with jubilation the conflicting reports that came over the wires… Praise God. Victory ours. Four thousand majority.” The front page contains a photo of the Statue of Liberty with six stars surrounding her. These represented the states which have passed the “equal suffrage” — Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington and now adding California.
The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention is traditionally viewed as the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement. It was not until June 4, 1919 that Congress sent the proposal for the 19th Amendment, the woman’s right to vote, and then it was not until August 18, 1920 that the final ratification was passed, by the vote from Tennessee. It was a long road, but “we’ve come a long way baby” since then!