“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.