Sunday, July 3, 2011

Suffragists parade on the Fourth

Kids ride atop the shoulders of three patriotic women — perhaps on the way to a parade.
Many citizens celebrated last month when the New York State legislature passed same-sex marriage legislation. One hundred years ago, demanding equal treatment was another group of citizens: women. Suffragists joined New York City's Fourth of July parade in stage coaches decorated with flags and bunting; they said they were both celebrating the Spirit of 1776 and demanding the vote. 

"Some of us have come here in stage coaches, the public vehicle of the historic days of the American Revolution," said Mrs. Penfield, addressing the crowd from one of the coaches. "We visualize for you the difference between coach and motor car. It is as if we placed side by side the handloom and the modern factory. Coach and handloom are discarded. Let us remember that men and women of today who would be good citizens and helpful members of society cannot use the methods that were effective in the days of the handloom and the stage coach. We are living in the day of the motor car and the biplane."

The New York Times, which reported on the event, noted at the conclusion of the article that lemonade and sandwiches were served at the Woman Suffrage Party headquarters before the parade began and tea afterward. I guess even revolutionaries need sustenance.

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