When I read the email from my friend, Sue (Thanks, Sue!), I knew I’d found something special in Lucy Burns and Alice Paul. And I’d like to take this occasion to thank Lucy and Alice, too.
I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of these courageous suffragists who struggled mightily for women to have the right to vote. Red-haired, Irish Catholic, Lucy (a woman after me own heart) picketed the White House, advising a vote against Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow and the police didn’t care much for that idea and threw Lucy and Alice and others of the female persuasion into the hoosegow.
Which is bad enough in itself. But when you throw in a few beatings and other brutal behaviors perpetrated on these women on a November evening in 1917, then you’ve got your Night of Terror and a couple of heroines who survived it all. And who ultimately went on to win that vote for women in 1920. You can read more about their ordeal here.
Why don’t we know about Lucy Burns and Alice Paul? Maybe because teachers, journalists and writers haven’t spread the word. Those of us of the female persuasion owe a debt of gratitude to the women who fought for the 19th amendment. And if I can share their early 20th century story through this wonderful 21st century medium, then maybe that’s one way I can thank Lucy and Alice. Rest in peace, sisters.