Monday, November 3, 2008
What became known as the "The Night of Terror" took place on November 14th 1917. 33 women protesting for the right to vote were grabbed, dragged, beaten, choked, pinched, kicked, and eventually arrested by 44 club wielding men in Occoquan, Virginia. They beat Lucy Burn and chained her hands above her head to her cell bars. They so badly hurt Dora Lewis that she passed out and her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Dora was dead and suffered a heart attack from panic. They were kept dehydrated for weeks and served worm infested food. One of their leaders, Alice Paul, went on a hunger strike and they tried for weeks to shove a feeding tube down her throat, only making her vomit.
Women in the United States finally got the right to vote in 1920. It wasn't until the 50s that Japanese Americans were granted citizenship and allowed to vote. All Mexican Americans didn't have the right to vote until 1971. 1971 was also the year that anyone eighteen years or older could vote... kids didn't want to fight in Vietnam if they couldn't vote. The history of Native Americans being able to vote is so disgustingly messed up that I can't even find a specific year that all states were finally allowing them to vote. Throughout history there have been all sorts of efforts to keep minorities, women, young people, those with disabilities from voting.
So don't get all lazy on me. In 2004 20 million unmarried women didn't vote. That makes a difference. If we don't vote, politicians won't care about our rights. So get out there and do it!