Alice Paul was jailed for seven months in 1917 for “obstructing traffic” while peacefully picketing the White House for women’s rights. She organized a hunger strike, and was force-fed through a hose to prevent her starving to death. Come learn about the struggle for voting rights at the Mesa Public Library Step Up Gallery, and stand with Alice Paul and the rest of the suffragists as we honor all those who continue to struggle for voting rights here in the US and around the world. Pictured is LWV member Karyl Ann Armbruster. Photo Courtesy LWVLA
While the First Nations women had full rights of property ownership and government of the Haudenosaunee nation, it wasn’t until 1856 for all white men to become enfranchised, and not until 1920 did American women get the vote. Of course, it wasn’t only women who didn’t have full citizenship: Native Americans, naturalized Chinese, Black Americans (through local voting restrictions), and residents of Washington, DC got the right to vote after white women. Come learn about the struggle for voting rights at the Mesa Public Library Step Up Gallery. Photo Courtesy LWVLA
On Saturday, 101-years-and-three-days after ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, the League of Women Voters Los Alamos opens the Step Up Gallery presentation of “Women’s Votes, Voters’ Voices,” the long—very very long—fascinating history of women’s battle for their right for representation through the ballot.
The story starts when the first Europeans settling in the Haudenosaunee nation met a culture where women of the Confederacy enjoyed a life of equality and power in their communities. In the matriarchal community, the women raised the children and controlled the land, which meant, control of the food sources. Women selected the chiefs, could remove them if the chief’s actions merited it, and decided whether to go to war. This leadership inspired early European-American women that another governmental model was possible.
White women may have had the right to vote guaranteed in the Constitution, except that Thomas Jefferson won the decision to restrict the vote to only white-male property owners. He believed that God had granted the Yeoman Farmer the right to own (not work, but own) land because of his virtues. By 1856, however, all states had given free, white-male American citizens the right to vote. It took sixty-three more years for women to have the same right.
Interested? There are many other stories about the women who struggled for the right to be considered worthy of helping to decide the direction of the nation.
Join us Saturday for a walk through history in the Step Up Gallery, located on the upper level of Mesa Public Library. The exhibit will be on display from August 21 through September 21 at the Step Up Gallery. Remember to wear your mask.