August 27, 2014

Broadcast Your Beliefs on a Coat Hanger Banner!

This month marks the 94th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution that granted women the right to vote.You might think that the suffrage movement always swept the headlines during these final years of effort, but that’s not what happened.

One hundred years ago this month, World War I broke out in Europe, and an entire continent caught on fire.The United States wouldn’t enter the war until April 1917, but there was plenty of news and controversy about the war itself – not to mention hot-button issues like women’s suffrage, worker’s rights, and more during the months in between. 

Still, World War I brought change to women’s lives in America.  As more than a million young American men sailed to France to fight Germany with the American Expeditionary Forces, young women stepped into traditional male jobs.

Vocal suffragists picketed the White House and carried out acts of civil disobedience. Many spent nights in a notorious workhouse where they were force fed or shackled with their arms over their heads. This image shows a suffragist calling out President Woodrow Wilson, who opposed suffrage early in his presidency, comparing him to the notorious German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II.

What’s on your mind? Make a banner like the suffragists did using a hanger and other household items. Let your feelings fly!

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