Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Put Your Votes to Work, Women Urged

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Put Your Votes to Work, Women Urged

Article excerpt

Seventy-five years after their foremothers won American women the right to vote, hundreds of St. Louisans cheered Saturday as speakers urged them to make better use of the ballot box.

"What would Susan B. Anthony say if she knew that in 1994, only 44 percent of the eligible women voters went to the polls?" former Lt. Gov. Harriett Woods asked a crowd of about 400 people, mostly women, at a rally at Kiener Plaza.

"We must use the vote as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton expected us to, which is to shape a better world."

The Constitution, adopted in 1789, limited voting to white men who owned property. Subsequent amendments extended the right to black men and non-property owners. Women didn't win the right until the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920, after 72 years of forceful prodding.

The rally was one of several events Saturday that local Zonta Clubs organized to celebrate the amendment's ratification.

Women marked the historic day at similar rallies across the country. In Washington, an estimated 2,000 people marched along the same route followed by suffragists in their first march, in 1913. Out in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park, Hillary Rodham Clinton stood against a mountain backdrop as she told another gathering that more women need to vote.

The morning-long celebration in St. Louis began on the steps of City Hall with the unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service's new "Women's Suffrage Stamp." The 32-cent stamp features photographs of two important women's protests: a suffrage march in 1913, during President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration in Washington, and a march on the Illinois State Capitol in 1976, during the height of the movement to promote the Equal Rights Amendment.

The stamp seems unlikely to become very popular. The superimposition of one photograph over the other makes the images impossible to distinguish. …

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