“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, May 17, 1921, Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Avenue, New York City, New York

This all started back in February.

Ruth Hale, 34, journalist and theatrical agent, received her passport in the mail from the U. S. State Department. It was made out to “Mrs. Broun.”

Ruth Hale

Well, the only “Mrs. Broun” in her Upper West Side house is the cat. So she refused to accept it.

Four years ago, when she agreed to marry fellow journalist and sportswriter Heywood Broun, 32, they agreed she would keep her surname. Which hasn’t been easy. She fights with authorities every time she has to sign anything.

One of her friends, New York Times reporter Jane Grant, 28, is waging the same battle, with some support from her husband, magazine editor Harold Ross, also 28.

Jane Grant

The four of them lunch regularly in midtown at the Algonquin Hotel, with other writers and critics from the city’s major newspapers. And they are often part of late night poker games at Ross and Grant’s apartment. Which Ross expects Grant to clean up after.

At least Hale, who insists on living on a separate floor from Broun in their house, had him agree to split the child care raising their son, Heywood Hale, 3.

The talk at lunch always turns to Hale and Grant complaining about the injustice of being expected to give up their surnames. A few weeks ago, Ross was sick of listening to them and said,

Why don’t you just go hire a hall?”

So here they are at the Hotel Pennsylvania for the founding meeting of the Lucy Stone League.

Ad for the Hotel Pennsylvania

They have managed to cajole some of their other lunch buddies to join, including FPA [Franklin Pierce Adams], 39, the top columnist in Manhattan; Neysa McMein, 33, an illustrator whose apartment has become a favorite haunt for the group; and Beatrice Kaufman, 26, publicist and wife of the playwright George S Kaufman, 31.

Broun joins; Ross doesn’t. And one of their woman friends from the Algonquin gang says no also:  Dorothy Rothschild Parker, 27, tells them,

I married to change my name.”

The Lucy Stone League honors the 19th century suffragist who was the first American woman to use her birth name even after she married. Guess she never needed a passport.

With this group of writers and PR women involved, the League won’t have trouble getting the word out. However, the Times reporter is referring to them as “The Maiden Namers.”

Just nine months ago American women finally secured, through the 19th Amendment, the right to vote in all elections. Among the rights the League’s founders—Hale as President, Grant as Secretary-Treasurer—feel they will have to fight for include opening a bank account, holding a copyright, registering at a hotel, and signing up for a store account, an insurance policy, or a library card.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I covering 1920 is available on Amazon in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, 8 am, EST, August 26, 1920, Washington, DC

U. S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, 50, certifies the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment by the Tennessee legislature eight days before, signing the Proclamation of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment to the U. .S Constitution. Women’s right to vote in all elections throughout the country goes into effect as law.

The suffragists who worked for more than 70 years to get the Amendment passed breathe a collective sigh of relief. They immediately turn their energies to getting an Equal Rights Amendment introduced in Congress.

Suffragettes celebrating

For a brief history from 2012 of how the amendment became law, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWX4H6sAgtY

For more in-depth context from Soledad O’Brien, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhgXsY4osvM

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

You can register for free for my webinar, “Such Friends”: The Founding of the Abbey Theatre, to be held this Friday, August 28, 2020, at 2 pm EDT, on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. A recording will be available a few days afterward. My previous presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view here. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, July 22, 1920, Marion, Ohio

Three more weeks.

In three more weeks the state legislatures of both Tennessee and North Carolina will meet and vote on whether to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote in all elections in the country. A yes vote in either state will put the Amendment over the top, with 36 states ratifying.

More than 100 members of the National Woman’s Party, dressed in white and carrying purple, green and white banners, are marching through the streets of Marion, Ohio, to the famed “front porch” of the Republican nominee for the presidency, Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding, 54. They know that this is as close to victory as they have ever been.

suffragettes at harding front porch

Suffragettes in front of Warren G. Harding’s front porch

Alice Paul, 35, who helped draft the Amendment, points out to Harding that suffrage for women is the one plank in either party’s platform that they can act on even before the election. All Harding has to do is put pressure on the Republican majority in Tennessee for them to vote aye.

Just yesterday Harding had sent a telegram to the most prominent suffragette, Carrie Chapman Catt, 61, co-founder of the National League of Women Voters, pledging that, if the Tennessee Republicans asked for his opinion, he would “cordially recommend” that they vote yes.

Big of him.

In Marion, Ms. Paul says that, if Senator Harding

contents himself merely with ‘earnestly hoping’ and ‘sincerely desiring,’ how can he expect the country to take seriously the other planks in his platform?”

Alice Paul at Republican Convention

Alice Paul at Republican National Convention

Louisine Havemeyer, 64, patron of the arts and suffragettes, asks

Is it fair that a woman should make the flag and only the men should wave it?…When President Abraham Lincoln wished to pass an amendment…did he say, ‘I have done enough,’ or…I will urge,’…or ‘Ladies, don’t bother me, I have done all I could.’ No….Isn’t it time to end the struggle?”

Senator Harding is polite to the women.

Fifteen weeks until the general election.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, June 12, 1920, The Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois

The 940 delegates at the Republican National Convention have been through four long days and ten long ballots. They finally have a compromise candidate, Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding, 54, the result of negotiations in what his supporters refer to as a “smoke filled room.”

His plea for a “return to normalcy” in a recent speech had made him palatable to both the conservative and progressive wings of the party. Although he has been called “the best of the second-raters.”

Tkt to 1920 Rep Natl Conv

Ticket to the 1920 Republican National Convention

Baltimore Sun reporter H. L. Mencken, 39, has said that the smell in the overheated Coliseum is like that of a

third rate circus.”

Sitting with the other reporters, Edna Ferber, 34 [but she only admits to 31], novelist, playwright and former full-time journalist, now here on special assignment for the United Press, is melting in the heat. In one of her reports she has described how all the bald, sweating delegates had,

shed collars, ties, even shoes in some cases…It was the American male politician reduced to the most common denominator.”

Edna-Ferber-1928

Edna Ferber

Ferber has been watching the spectacle and listening to the endless speakers. In his acceptance speech today, Harding says,

We mean to be American first, to all the world…We must stabilize and strive for normalcy.”

The country is just months away from having the 19th Amendment ratified by the last few states, and, for the first time, women will be able to vote in a presidential election. So, probably after the persuasion of his wife, Harding throws a bone to the suffragettes:

By party edict, by my recorded vote, by personal conviction, I am committed to this measure of justice.”

After suffering through Harding’s speech, Ferber describes him thus:

Here is a living cartoon of the American Fourth of July stuffed shirt order.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

In 2020 I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the University of Pittsburgh’s Osher Lifelong Learning program.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins and his relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

 

“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, May 29, 1920, Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia

One year in to his ten-year sentence for sedition, Eugene V. Debs, 64, pulls off a coup. He accepts the nomination of the Socialist Party for president of the United States. For the fifth time.

Debs with Dr. Madge Stephens of Soc Party nominating cmte

Dr. Madge P. Stephens of the Socialist Party nominating committee with Eugene V. Debs

When Debs ran eight years ago, he got 6% of the vote, the most for any Socialist Party candidate ever. In Florida, he even came in ahead of the incumbent Republican president.

This November will be the first time when women are able to vote in federal elections—assuming the 19th Amendment is finally ratified by the last few states, as expected. There will be more voters than ever.

Debs had been imprisoned last year after being found guilty of making a speech urging men to resist the draft during the Great War.

He proudly wears his prison uniform when formally accepting the nomination. Knowing he will not be able to make any campaign addresses or even statements. And that his full sentence will not be over until after the next two presidential administrations.

But part of his platform is that, if elected, he will pardon himself.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

In 2020 I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the University of Pittsburgh’s Osher Lifelong Learning program.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins and his relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.