Thursday, August 28, 2014

Did You Say " Heroic Politicians...?"

It isn't often that you hear the words heroic and politician together. In fact, this may be one of the first I know of.

Helping women to get the vote was not considered a good way to advance your political future, yet several did just that. They risked a lot to see that the right of women to vote became the law of the land. I reckon that heroic could rightly be used in this case, don't you?

Heroic Politicians

“Heroic” and “politician” don’t usually go together, but some of America’s male politicians were definitely suffrage heroes. In 1878, Senator Aaron Sargent of California—a friend of Susan B. Anthony and a steadfast supporter of women’s rights—introduced a bill nicknamed “the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.” It stated that no citizen could be prevented from voting because of their gender. Unfortunately, the bill took a while to pass.

Forty years later, three congressmen went above and beyond to help the Anthony Amendment (now officially the 19th Amendment) pass the House of Representatives. Thetus W. Sims of Tennessee had a painful broken shoulder, but he not only showed up to vote with his arm in a sling, he also lobbied his Southern colleagues to vote for the bill, too. Indiana’s Henry Barnhart was carried into the House on a stretcher to give his vote. And Congressman Frederick Hicks of West Virginia obeyed his dying wife’s request to leave her bedside so he could make sure the amendment passed.

But the drama wasn’t over even when the 19th Amendment finally won passage in both the House and the Senate—it still had to be ratified by at least 36 states. The press followed the frantic trip of West Virginia State Senator Jessie Bloch as he rushed home from a vacation in California because the governor had called a special ratification session. He knew the bill wouldn’t pass without him—and he arrived just in time to cast the vote that made West Virginia the 34th state to ratify the Amendment.

Even more dramatic was the saga of 24-year-old State Representative Harry Burn. His vote made Tennessee the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, and thus was the deciding vote in making women’s suffrage the law of the land. Desperate anti-suffragists demanded that Harry change his “aye” to “nay.” They accused him of taking bribes, ordered his mom to make him change his mind, and generally harassed him until he had to hire bodyguards. But Harry stood firm, proud of his action “to free 17 million women from political slavery.”

I can't help but wonder how many politicians today would do the same thing? My guess is that very few would step up, know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

8 comments:

Chickenmom said...

In today's world no politician would want to give up vacation time to vote for anything. Had a big thunderstorm last night - cooled off nicely. I'll bring fresh baked rolls for all.

linda m said...

Have to agree with you on that one. Most of our politicians today are too scared to stand up for what is right. And I can't even begin to imagine any of them going out of their way to vote for anything meaningful that would really "help" their constituents. I'll bring some fresh blackberry jam to go with Chickenmom's rolls.

Mamahen said...

I agree...can't see todays politicians going out of their way to actually HELP the people who need the help most...patio is nice and fresh rolls n jam sound wonderful :))

JO said...

Like the others I have to agree. But if they ever tried to hold back a woman in this day and age would be folly. Those were some tough women back then but today's women have higher education and won't give up their hard earned rights. But there are still lots of areas that still need work. Fight on Ladies.

Nice morning for the patio

Dizzy-Dick said...

There are a few women in office now who make me wish that bill had never passed. . .

edifice rex said...

Yeah, and there's a lot of men in office that make you wish they couldn't vote!
And Hermit, considering that the Equal Rights Amendment has never actually been ratified, then no, most politicians will not stand up for what's right today.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Glad that it cooled off there. I wish that it would here, for sure!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Linda M...
I reckon that we have to face the fact that most of them don't seem to care much for the voters, except at voting time!

Thanks for dropping in this morning!



Hey Jo...
It would be a different story in today's world, that's for sure!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!



Hey Dizzy...
I think I know the ones you are talking about! I feel the same.

Thanks for dropping over today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Annie...
The voting record of some of these bozos in office are enough to make you ill!

Just never seems to get much better, does it?

Thanks so much for coming by this morning!