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tv   The Suffrage Movement and the Media  CSPAN  August 20, 2020 12:00pm-1:25pm EDT

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three scholars took part in a discussion called "women and the vote: the 19th amendment power, media and making of a movement." the national archives hosted the eventen in conjunction with their centennial exhibit, rightfully hers. american women and the vote. tonight's discussion is part of a series of programs related to our recently opened exhibit, rightfully herself. american women and the vote. rightfully hers commemorates the anniversary and tells of women's struggles for voting rights towards equal citizenship, explores how women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity and class advanced the cause of suffrage and follows struggles for voting rights beyond 1920. the decades-long fight for the vote in the 19th and early 20th century engaged large numbers of
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women in the political process. a critical part of that campaign was getting their message out to the nation and shifting public opinion to support their cause. tonight we'll learn about the suffrage movement the communication machine and how it contributed to the movement's success. to introduce our panelists i'd like to welcome nancy tate to the stage. since 2015 she has served as the co-chair of the 2020 women's vote centennial initiative and also is on the board of the turning point suffrages memorial. from 2000 to 2015 she served as executive director of the legal of women voters. previously she was chief operating officer of the national academy of public administration and also served under the department of energy, department of education and the office of economic opportunity. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome nancy tate. [ applause ]
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>> well, thank you. it's so wonderful to be here at the national archives especially in light of their new exhibit that he's just mentioned. rightfully hers. i've just seen it and encourage any of you who have not seen it yet to be sure to make a point of doing so. well, as he mentioned, i am nancy tate. i am the co-chair of the 2020 women's vote centennial initiative and i am the former executive director of the league of women voters of the united states. the league is one of the co-founders of the women's vote centennial initiative, which is an information sharing collaboration of women's organizations and scholars around the country. our goal, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment in 2020, and to shed light on the powerful but little known history of the 72-year struggle to win that
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constitutional right to vote. the league was founded in 1920 by carrie chapman kat, leader of the largest suffrage organization. the national american women's suffrage association. so 2020 is also the 100th anniversary of the league and we will be celebrating that across the country in our nearly 800 state and local leagues. but just a little bit more about wbci, which is our acronym, we do two main sets of things. one is working to establish a network around the country of interested organizations and individuals who would like to know more about the centennial, because we want to promote efforts to learn about this important aspect of american history, and to commemorate it and commemorate the full story of that struggle. here in the d.c. area, we sponsor educational events like this one, and we coordinate with
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exhibits, starting to be held as this one is at the various museums and libraries around the city. so tonight this program is part of our women and the vote symposium series. this is the third one that we have done in collaboration with the national archives and aim to have several more here in 2019 and 2020. each of these will focus on different and probably not well-known aspects of the overall suffrage movement and its struggle and will highlight points of relevance to contemporary issues. the 72-year fight for women's suffrage is a powerful historical story. it can be used to enhance our understanding of our own world and how to navigate it. you can learn more about wvci and the resources we are making available by following us on facebook, twitter and instagram using the #at2020centennial.
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but now i'm pleased to thousand tonight's panel. so we have our moderator, tamara keith who is a white house correspondent and part of the politics team on the pbs newshour. she's going to lead a conversation with betsy griffith, author of "in her own right" a book about suffrages with elisabeth katie standen. linda lumsden author of the book "rampant women suffrages and right of assembly" and rebecca roberts, "suffrages in washington, d.c., the 1913 pap raid and the fight for the vote." so, panel, and tamara, i turn it over to you. [ applause ]
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>> naunk, everyone for being here and thank you for the panel for being here. i am going to let you carry all of the heavy weight on this. but -- you know, we know how the story ends. this story ends with the 19th amendment to the constitution being ratified and we all get to vote. so the question that i'm hoping we can cover tonight is, how we got here. and how we got to the end of that story in 1920, starting, though, in the 1900s, because it's a long story. so linda, i think that you have, at least a bit of an overview you can give us and maybe -- also you can start at the very beginning, or the early part of the century. >> okay, yeah. and i'll condense it, because it is a long story, but basically i
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would say--thank you so much for having me. when talking about the suffrage movement so much is about communication and targeting, and very simply, what really was an impetus for women to vote in the 72-year struggle was in the 20th century when women took to the streets and basically emergence of public women in the united states, and i know in the washington, washington, everybody's familiar with the famous 1913 parade down pennsylvania avenue, mobbed by a bunch of men, but actually you know, women had first started assembling in the 19th century. a big deal, threatening for women to even get together in conventions to share ideas and get a sense of community. from that, they moved on in the 20th century to soap boxing. this is a big deal, because women would claim a little bit of the public turf. traditionally, male territory had been the public sphere.
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women had been relegated to the domestic sphere basically cut them out of the political process. i would say women taking to that first soap box was really a big deal. also, too, women started to petition going back to the abolition movement, mid-1800s. a big deal for a woman who was supposed to be happy to just be in her house to go outside that house and down the street and knock on somebody's door and ask them to sign a petition. and that was a political act not only for that solicitor, but also, too, for that woman who signed that petition. also started raising consciousness about their own oh fle oppression in their lives. 1910, women take one more step and start to parade. the first real suffrage i know of in new york 1908 where a woman named maude malone, influenced by the british suffrages organized a group of i
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think six women to march down the street, but 1,000 people follow them. because it's a big deal. it's so unusual for women to take to the streets and think of all the negative association that goes, that go with that. again, women are going to get bolder. the annual fifth avenue parade in new york city a huge event. first national suffrage pap rra quite the spectacle. rest interesting, and suffrages creates this their own press with main street media. that's an impetus for, really helped women were emerge in the public sphere, and that's going to change them both. change women's roles and change our concept of what the public sphere is. >> betsy? >> the petitions that linda is referring to are actually here in the archives among the many other treasures here. no one would have known
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elizabeth katie stanley and others had the meeting middle of july 1848 in seneca falls if the telegraph wire wasn't recently strung along the erie canal. words got out women and men voted on 171171 -- 11 resolutio women voted people were outraged. were it not for the telegraph line no one would have known but the seneca falls newspaper. they were corresponding. elizabeth constantly righting to her chum susan brchlts . anthon stir the pudding, i need to convene a convention by correspondents. then fortunately typewriters invested. mimeograph machines invented and relationships with the newspaper or creating your own. elizabeth katie stanton and susan b. anthony create add newspaper calmed "the
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revolution" 1870, failed almost immediately refusing to take advertisements from quack medicines. thought they murdered women and refused advertising revenue and they failed. in contrast, lucy stone with her "women's journal" publishing it. another faction of the suffrage it's, publishes it until 1935. but i want to start by actually challenging the premise of the panel. >> perfect. >> power, media and the movement. i think media made the movement, but power, the power of women voting, made the amendment, and they are two, they are used in two different ways in the suffrage movement. media is represented by alice paul, third youngest generation of suffrages and power represented by carrie chapman kat who could count votes and lobby and influence the president. >> i also think that linda's point about marching in the streets taking this little, little bits of the public sphere
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and then bigger pits of the public sphere women counted on. outrage worked for them and why it was newsworthy. why they all wore white to look great in pictures. why one of the pictures just went by the pageant on the treasury steps during the 1913 march. this one. isn't that a great picture? so the treasury then as now a big, broad marble plaza in front and a whole vaguely tortured allego allegory. looks great on the newspaper. still the cover of my book 100 years later. all of those considerations about, you know, what they're doing is a little bit transgressive and a little shocking. that makes it newsworthy. they knew that the public sphere was not theirs to own. >> one thing that was remarkable in riding abo reading about thit some point they decided to picket or protest outside of the white house. yet this was, like, really
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controversial. >> uh-huh. >> that -- >> go there right now. there will be pictures. >> right. nuclear people basically live there. >> they do. >> feel free to remind them. >> so the idea that this was controversial and yet this -- was a way that they got attention. >> yeah. >> virtually two levels. >> excuse me. >> alice paul, expert in public tis. really, really was. beginning, expert in public relations before the term was found. these women helped create the whole field pnd also, too, first started picketing the white house, weren't quite at war and silent once we declared war in april four months later is when it really enraged the public. considers traitors, scum of the earth. sailors roaming around in washington, d.c., get drunk and they attacked them. who do you think got in trouble?
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the women did. they were sent off to jail. that created a whole other level -- >> they leaned in. right? i mean, there was -- >> to borrow a phrase. >> that whole debate. do we keep picketing the white house during war time? criticizing your president during wartime, people think it's treasonous. right? suddenly it becomes a much bolder statement. not only keep the pickets up, got much more pointed. you guys can't read this, but this is, first of all what would these women do with social media? right? this is a tweet. >> it's two tweets! >> but it's this very directly critical message, directed to the russian envoys about, tell the president that he's the biggest challenge to american liberty. one i don't know if we have a picture. the kaiser wilson banner? there we go. >> kaiser wilson. >> take the beam out of your own eye. right? these women were not backing down from the idea the that
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wartime was a time which they might lose sympathy. >> yes. >> but they were not in fact breaking laws when arrested arrested for something completely made up. something called obstructing the traffic on the sidewalk, which is not a thing. >> i want you to talk about how they made the most out of being arrested. >> well, first of all, just for women to picket they chose -- women volunteered in droves until the arrests began. and then black women like mary trish be terrell and her daughter and working women and mothers stopped picketing when the arrests got serious, because they couldn't interrupt their lives in that with. but from january until april, really january until inauguration, the first batch of picketing. 1917. march was inauguration at that time. it was just so -- shocking that women would hold picket signs no matter how well dressed and put
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together and matronly, college delegations, whatever it was. that ay loan was shocking to people. president walk out of the white house, tip his hat, offer coffee. they ignored him. then when they start rampanting up, deciding they will protest during the war, they actually get pushed off the headlines. they're out of the news until june, when the russian picket goes up. and then they decide they can't picket every day. the tensions have gotten too great. so they wait until the fourth of july and carry not only their picket signs but an american flag. thinking, who's going to attack the american flag? then they, alice actually in the hospital at johns hom kins and lucy burns, she met in a jail in london both arrested for picketing, takes over and she's even bolder. she's the one who comes up with the kaiser wilson picket. but they are shrewd enough to begin to quote the president's words. so the judge cannot charge them with sedition. they can only be charged with obstructing traffic, and for
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that, because they are not caving, the judge has's to keep adding to the sentence. original sentence three-day jail term or $25 fine. and the women in a pattern that civil rights marchers would follow said, we'll fill the jails. so these women are going to jail and people are shocked, that the government would put women in jail. and then the government ends up putting women in jails for one month and two months and alice for seven months. alice paul and rose winslow, the only two two be force fed because alice -- >> they go on hunger strikes. >> hunger strike but because they're protesting they are political prisoners. ought not to be there and protest a hunger strike. >> first americans to ask for prisoner status. amazing. >> they had to sneak the news out to their friends through the jail bars, throwing rocks out the window, because nobody knew what was happening inside the jail. part of the commune be kags strategy was getting the news
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out and alice stopped hunger striking, didn't want to be ill, couldn't quit because the newspapers did know about it. >> the only thing she had to read oxford book english verse and somehow scribbled a note on there to announce her compatriots outside, make sure you use this. makes excellent ammunition. somehow smuggled that out. they did. they did. >> not sure that's true. i heard all five daily newspapers delivered to the jail and had her stenographer come once a week to take her correspondence. >> not sure -- >> before put in -- writes her mother that's it's plan. maybe just trying to reassure her mother. >> so was -- declaring themselves political prisoners, did that help the movement, or no? just -- did going to jail help the movement? >> it was take be entirely from the quaker citizens.
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emily pinker sent her daughters, more radical wing of the british suffrage movement and ultimately alice paul called rad ieical an they had nothing on the radical british movement. tried to set fire to the prime minister's house, smack policemen in the face, i mean, yeah. >> and the american women standing outside the -- standing on a corner way sign. >> always peaceful. yeah nap strategy, arrested, demand political prisoner status. if they refuse go on a hunger strike. that's borrowed from her. i think alice paul, agree she was a brilliant strategist and pr person and managed to turn amazing situations to her advantage, but i think she had a little bit of a blind spot there where she would follow pankhearst examples and not think through whether or not they translated to an american system. for instance, 1915 and 1916,
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tried power and party strategy, campaigned even against pro-suffrage parties, worked better in parliamentary not a representative democracy. the political prisoner thing was a little bit similar. that she, a tactic worked elsewhere and didn't think it through. >> and rebecca's put her finger on the major weakness of alice paul. political naive in an american system. imported outdoor tactics but a partialmentry plan beginning as early as immediately after the march. wants to hold democrats in power. wilson won the presidency, democrats taken over the house and senate, but there was bipartisan opposition. mostly southern democrats, and bipartisan support. carrie chapman kat refers to paul's strategy stew pe-- stupendously stupid. >> they wouldn't have had to dream each other up if they
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didn't have each other. kat unbelievable lobbyist, organizer. this state needed a referendum and that passed by two legislatures had all that done but never bold enough to picket the white house. you know? >> didn't want to picket the white house, trying to woo wilson. >> right. wanted to be considered, oh, that night unthreatening mrs. kat. i'll meet with her. she's not crazy like alice paul. >> an inside and outside game? >> extra em to make the moderate look more moderate. >> perfect good cop/bad cop relationship. easier for wilson to deal with kat because she looked so much better, much larger more conservative organization, looked more patriot in comparison to these alice paul radicals. >> three generations of sufficient ra. stanton, lucy stone, carrie chapman kat and anne hourpd and alice and lucy. a sort of mother-daughter
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competition. both kat and paul were dynamic, charismatic, very attractive powerful speakers whose followers would have followed them off a cliff to the white house to tennessee for the ratification, but what kat had and what wins sufficient ra is women getting the vote from all of those referendums, all the state legislatures. wouldn't have gotten a vote if it had only been paul and the protests. had you to have cat and could not have won the vote without paul. >> also i once -- sorry. >> go ahead. >> once it went to the states for ratification, the fact kat had all state level organizations was vital. >> yes. >> so i was hoping we could sort of tease that out a little bit. in terms of the political structure of how this worked, they were out in the states trying to build movements in the states or trying to get state-level things passed. and then there was also the
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national movement. >> that -- so very briefly, a long, painful history. when the 15th amendment was passed and it enfranchised black men and no women a huge split in the suffrage movement. people like lucy stone and julia ward howe who said we're abolitionists take the amendment as written and fight for women next. people like stanton anthony said we accept the 15th amendment without women a whole generation before women get to vote and can't accept it now. it split. split into not only rival groups but the stone-howe group pursued a state-by-state strategy specifically because that federal amendment and the reconstruction amendments had been so threatening to the southern states. anthony and stanton group pursued a federal amendment. for a lot of the end of the 19th century working kind of at cross-purposes. which they came back together,
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rejoined, be american suffrage association, they decided to pursue the state-by-state strategy. so one of the reasons -- which isn't crazy. right? sounds like a lot of work. the plan be was if you get enough states to pass suffrage, federal's amendment is inevitable because enough men are representing women. >> sounds like paid family leave or federal minimum wage or many things happening at the state level. >> exactly. >> then some of these things -- having now. >> the march matters in addition to being a spectacle that got a lot of coverage, it was an announcements the federal amendment would back. you had, harold muholland on a horse and a big wagon, we demand constitutional amendment franchising women and that was deal. >> and this was a brave, gutsy pr move all on her own. but to get an amendment you need three quarters of the states,
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needed 36 states and two-thirds vote in both houses of congress. the dual sfrat ji-of-strategy-of--o ji-of-strategy-of--oji-of-stra wrong. few hearings until really 1914. there were six states who had given women presidential sufficient raf rage by election. alice paul eford and parade stirs up some momentum at the state level and more states fall in line. so by 1916, 12 states allow women to vote. some allowing only to vote for president. presidential suffrage only. others giving them university suffrage from tax bond to school board to congress to president, but presidential voting began to have impact on the parties, because that's electoral college votes as well as members of the congress. >> i add on to that, too. before the two, when women started going public.
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to go back to media. you know, i think, let's see. there were years only four states had granted suffrage. most in the west. nothing happened for like 20 years. it didn't start to get momentum going until women in new york mainly started going again and going to the, out to the public and getting the word out and started to -- at least refocus attention. previously, women would have the suffrages have conventions like in church basements in the 19th century. when he realized -- and became more aware, too. media is burgeoning, right? beginning of the 20th century. getting some attention, et cetera and again going out in the public. that was really how they got their message out. >> sorry. go back to the washington post headline. i heard you giggling about it. >> yes, there it is. >> so this is what going out in public was covered by them, breathlessly sexist male press of the day.
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women's beauty grace and art bewilder the capitol. i love the headline. they had no idea what to do with it. >> yes. >> and then a whole paragraph about the badly behaving crowd. sorry. one more. "chicago tribune." my favorite. so the 1913 march coincided with woodrow wilson's inauguration. the next day. this headline should be, inaugurated 20th president of the united states. it's not. and that editorial cartoon, pencil neck wilson thinking he's get the headline and it's the suffrages stealing the spotlight from him. >> and alice paul, they wanted her to have a parade. didn't want her to have a parade and then have 2 in the boondocks. she fought until it was down pennsylvania avenue. >> she wanted it,
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university of maryland and boy scouts joined hands to make a little wedge. they'd only started four bodies apart in these regiments of women. but they could barely make it any farther than that. so women in the, columbia and froze in place, were freezing because the parade had not shown up. >> barefoot on marble in march. >> went back inside. took three more hours before the suffrages showed up. playing on what linda was saying. for women to take any of these
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roles was so against their public image. if you think about, refer to sex role socialization, how we learn our role. 19th, early 20th century were meant to the ladies. alice paul back from england and invadeited to talk about outdoo tactics, stanton's daughter offered volunteers to go down on the street and practice speaking on a soap box. march right now washington, d.c. be on the street. older women were horrified because no women, to be on the street was to be a street walker. was to be disrespectable. this whole idea having outdoor tactics was a shock. when the police had to arrest the women, who were picketing, the idea that these could be their mothers, their daughters, their sisters, they didn't really know how to handle throwing women into paddy wagons. and had to constantly be rep prap manneded by supervisors your job is to arrest those
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women with their signs. >> so how does this move from public awareness to public persuasion? >> women, they have a lot of methods. and they try them all, to various degrees of success. i think that like any public movement there was sort of a tipping point when it became less shocking. also these women worked really, really hard to convince men to vote for these laws. i mean that was the one -- this whole move is by and for women until the final step. right? you could not introduce or vote for legislation while female. they had to depend on men for the last thing. and had these amazing card files and research and this is another media use. so the national women's parties gets a lot of press for all of these visual tactics, also had an unbelievable database. with, like, 20 cards on every member of congress, that not only talked about how he voted
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whether he ever said anything about suffrage, whatever, but then also actually talked to his wife. a lot smarter than he is. you know? or he's a drinker. talked to him before 5:00 p.m. and these cards would trigger, if one said in public, oh, you know, no one in my district in ohio wants suffrage. a cue for 400 letters from ohio to show up in that man's office. they were unbelievably organized. and targeted to the specific objections that anti-suffrages had. there wasn't much you could do with the garden variety women or too stupid, fragile, emotional to handle the vote, but other objections, they had strategies. >> they are very -- use their own media, too, really, organizing, too. you can open up a copy of the "women's journal" suffragist or dozens of smaller, regional ones and they would tell you the
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status of the legislative process. tell you where your congressman's addresses were to write to the. ask you to sign a petition. ask you to come out and picket. they were just a font of information, besides the fact of giving, i think, women a sense of empowering, being something larger than themselves, inspiring this collective identity, inspiring collective action. their immediatey real important in organizing. >> i haven't studied this as closely as linda. a question which media were the pickets and marching covered? 1913 march because it aligned with the inauguration got pretty broad coverage and the pickets did increasingly as they got ever more scandalous and seemingly unpatriotic and violence followed women went after jailed. but what really changes the public mind in addition to people voting and by 1918, 22 states. got a lot of people voting.
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millions of women are voting. it's the war. because women participated in the war. they worked in factories. worked on farms. worked on the front as those telephone call girls for general jack pershing, worked at nurses, ambulance drivers and the war and mrs. kat's strategy worked on wilson. because he was so adamant against it as a southern gentleman. northern governor but southern roots. because he was really relying on the southern senate to pass the reforms of the wilson, for which the wilson administration is known, he didn't want to rock the legislative vote. so kat said to him, make it a war measure. say that we are so respectful of women for the sacrifices they are making. and he finally waits until october 1918 when the senate is voting and they turn him down, but finally makes his plea on behalf of women. and when he's doing that, paul's in jail. >> well --th you know more about
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wilson. opposed suffrage because he was a sexist. not because he didn't think it necessarily worked as a southern democrat. he could have been a lot more aggressive on the issue. could have done a lot more for the issue. ultimately what changed his mind was, like, 1917 new york, suffrage, gosh, all going to vote. might as well vote for me! it was craven. it wasn't -- suddenly feeling that women deserved it. >> and the vote, november 1917, again, paul's in jail. by a margin of 100,000 votes, tammany hall chooses not even to oppose it. democratic city bosses, saloon keepers opposed suffrage thinking lady do-gooders would chan chan change -- get the vote. new york passes, and then the
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house votes in january of '18. >> yeah. i don't think it's a totally a coincidence that the house are, comes out for suffrage a year to the day after the picketing started, too. i don't think that hurt. i do think even though kat and the -- women working for the war effort et cetera was crucial. i won't argue that. in contrast to the civil war, stanton and anthony, suffrage, to do war work and betrayed. got nothing from the government as far as votes for women go. i do think it's interesting. after world war i, it does make a difference, and i think it's partly that -- kat is very effective in -- saying women are worthy, deserving of the vote, but also, too, you have the national women's party, much smaller, much more radical, but kind of interesting, reframing
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militant notioning of patriotism? not doing women's war work. so i do think they provided a nudge in sort of pushing wilson to coming out for the vote. i think if they hadn't been on the scene at all, i think it would have been a lot easier for the u.s. government and for the congress to ignore these women who were rolling bandages the last three years. >> you shouldn't underestimate how they manipulated the press coverage. one thing to say, oh, 1913 parade got press coverage because it was a mob. well, you saw women's grace and beauty bewilder the capitol. that's not the coverage you want. doesn't help your cause. a nice picture, but what alice paul had all of those women who had come in from out of town right first-person accounts how that terrible mob treated them and sent them back to their hometown paper. mrs. george smith mishandled -- really good pr. not doing something big and
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hoping it got covered. >> other piece of pr, alice said wear white, not wearing academic gowns. wasn't an all-white march. a color-coded march. enormous fights over the dress code, but she said, you will wear this and march in this order because she wanted to demonstrate women voting would be graceful and harmonious and would not be as disruptive as, of course, these underground, they were all going to be very disruptive. kat and paulty guising radicalism of wanting women to vote by itself pretty revolutionary. >> can we touch on something that we've brushed past a couple of times. which is the racial dynamics of this movement? and one question i have is whether this was a movement of privilege? >> definitely. i think you know, one thing these white house pickets actually, they were a bit insulated by their class and their color.
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socialists picketing the white house they would have been in jail for years and years. i think that made a difference. race was not the strong suit of the suffrage movement and actually the parades are more blatant ways to see the ratism. both kat and paul went out of their way, didn't want the african-american women to march. >> why not? >> although they did. >> they were worried they'd lose southern women if they had -- paul in its, horrifying to say it now, when ida b. wells barnette wanted to march, and just wanted to march as their first act formed in order to a politically active in 1913 with mary, adviser, told they had to march in the back. could stay if they march in the back. >> no blacks march at all. then pressure because there are blam women like ida bea and
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weren't segregated. national association of colored women almost as large as the general federation are women. activists african-american women with their own reasons to want to get to vote to stop lynching, improve their situations. so paul sirs says, none at all. no native americans either. then gets press and creates the section at the back. not everybody marches there. howard deltas do, but ida, we know, marches with the illinois delegation. "chicago tribune" had a photographer. many and with two white grandfathers was quite a light-skinned woman. but we do know she pictured, and we do know that working women pictured. so i don't -- clearly, class and race and geography were issues to disrupt the suffrage movement and race was an issue throughout. but i go back to what i said at the beginning.
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the media makes the movement but power makes the amendment. these women came together in a temporary coalition. a temporary sisterhood because everybody had a self-interest. they wanted the vote to accomplish labor reform or anti-lynching or to elect their own or pass social just is. they had lots of issues to hang together and to put up with each other because they were much stronger together than they would have been in any separate way, but as soon as suffrage passes, the sisterhood splinters, they fight, competing against ei against each other again. excuse me for being a contrarian. i wouldn't say it ends in 1920. not every group of women got to vote in 1920 and the race issue rises again. mary trish terrell and other organization appeals to alice paul, 1921 national women's party, what would you dwo to help african-american women
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protect their vote in the south? paul turns themselves aside and damned by her own friends and members for her racist attitude. after 1920, native american women didn't get to vote until 1924. african-american women struggled with it until the amendments and the voting rights act and sieving rights act and still struggling with itty issues of voter suppression. poor women also hurt by the poll tax. kept them from voting. women in the territories, because the amendment was drafted before america had become an imperialistic country and didn't say territories. if you were in hawaii or alaska, puerto rico, puerto ricans didn't give women suffrage until 1935. and of course lived in the district of columbia, you didn't get it until 1961. only presidential suffrage. neither woodrow wilson's widow nor mary terrell residents of d.c. ever got to vote in their lifetimes. >> i also think not only did white suffrages fail to recognize the contribution of
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african-american suffrages, not only did they put forth this elitist image, but they actually often used overtly racist arguments. so during those state-by-state strategies there was an effort to go into southern states and say, if you give white women a vote we will overwhelm the black male vote. you know? all of those things you are trying to dis -- it never worked, by the way. the southern states were systematically dismanoally disde systematically dismanismantalin crow laws. >> and same thing said in midwest native americans and nate vist. elitist native american women. not excusing them, and i agree with you about wilson. sexist, racist shts. >> and anti-semitic. >> but these are women worked now in the third generation of effort. and the people they need to
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persuade to vote for them are white men from all over the country. which is why having women vote in every state in different legislative districts made such a difference. power they would respond to. the only woman who ever voted for suffrage was jeanette rankin, elected in 1916, served 1917 to 1919 and that vote in january 1918, she introduces suffrage in the house and she votes for it and it passes. first victory for suffrage since the amendment was introduced in 1878. so one woman. and we could give credit to feebly burns, harry burns mother, who told him how to vote in tennessee, because harry burns change of vote in the tennessee legislature ratification fight the vote of one man, maybe banks -- maybe two. harry gets the credit, because one man voted 27 million women were eligible to vote even if
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state parties and organizations found ways to cut them out. >> and maybe that is why the sort of women being cut out even though they had the right in theory -- how did it take for the women's vote to change things? or to become apparent? or has it yet? >> i would argue that you did see it in the new deal, in a way. it was in the 1930s. 's in a way sort of grew out the women who had been active in the suffrage movement and some elected had talked about issues of government getting involved in providing relief in 1920s. so socials, too, argued for that. i think it carried over a bit into the 1920s. you started seeing the government become a little more -- >> i don't know about that. i sort of feel a lot of legislation passed in fear of a woman's vote and then when it didn't materialize, repealed. a health care bill, the
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anti-child labor amendment made its way through congress and then when women didn't vote substantially differently from the men in their lives and, of course -- >> or at all. >> again ibs this is the kind of thing that makes so mad. of course, then covered as, they're just voting the way their husbands and fathers tell them to, or -- >> still stories like that. >> or -- the other demographic parts of their lives, they are voting more like the men who live near them, who share their, raise their economic backgrounds, whatever, not that they're being told how to vote, but there was not a women's vote. knop gender gap for 60 more years. >> fear of voting effective 1921, 1924. major pieces of legislation, as rebecca said. women don't vote in large numbers ought all in 1924, acts repeal and the other challenge is, nobody's counting the women's vote. only illinois counted men and women's votes. you had to sort of speculate
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whatevered in the rest of country. no exit polls, or national polls, not until 1964 did they start counting the women's votes separately from the men's voting and you can see numbers are increasing. it's not then until 1980 that the gender gap of partisan difference arises and continues. but they -- and what linda says is right, too. when they weren't able to be effective in the congress, there were few women serving. men ignored them, repealing think actions. then women like eleanor roosevelt and her social justice network who came out of the settlement house. florence kelly, jane adams, begin to work behind the scenes getting women apointed to different positions in the new deal. but it's the new deal that says that no married woman married to a government employee will hold a job. then again, takes another war, second world war, gives women
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rights. equal pay right and the baby boom and women, white women, go underground. african-american women are never stop -- african american women active in the '20s, anti-lynching in the '30s. increasingly active in the '40s. a threat to march on washington in 1941 or the ncaap, and i love ending this way. mary church terrell around. born in memphis. two degrees, enormously wealthy. first black judge in washington. husband's a harvard graduate gets involved in organizations, the marches, the pickets. doesn't ever quit. active and organizing through the '30s. in 1950 she is photographed
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picketing washington restaurants with her cane in one hand and her picket sign in the other that it's time to desegregate washington's restaurants. these women were sensational. >> part of the promise of this panel is that we would also discuss how, what these women did in the early 1900s. it has ripples today. how the movement back then has informed today's women's movements or even maybe today's hashtag movements. >> i do think you see it when the women's march, right? first one 2017, weekend of fr p trump's -- 2017 all the pictures. papa avenue resurfacing things like that. i'm almost surprised, too. you mentioned one of the
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pickets, could be a hashtag, a tweet or something. i'm surprised at the parallels, the way they communicated and all of these new kinds of social media and targeting digital media. you can kind of see it a century ago in suffrages. >> pull that out. >> imagery, for instance, cartoons, et cetera. talking memes, mems, however you say it. memes, okay. >> an ongoing debate. usually i loose. we'll go with memes. >> anyways, the cartoons, suffrages created in their newspapers and in the beautiful banners and things like that. they often were very, used humor and horror to make their points et cetera. again you see that i think in social media now. you see that things like tumblr, et cetera. communication networks, too. you see women's, #womensmarch.
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protest organized. when you have these networks of women who are communicating together. you know, the suffrage newspapers. much more slowly done more than a century ago, but i see it, parallels that way. >> i also on how things look? we think of that as so contemporary that everybody is looking for the perfect selfie moment or whatever. these women were very aware of how this all looked. for both the live audience and how it looked in pictures. sure that's amazing. the banners were these very clear, easy to read fonts. dark prints on a light background that reproduced well. and so, this idea of getting the perfect image to represent you because people were going to look at images more than they were going to read the story, they absolutely did that. no question. >> think of the power of
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suffrage white. we know now that not everybody in the parade wore suffrage white and a banner. there were people fewer women wearing white than anything else because you were supposed to e wear your professional outfit, a nurse or whatever. but now suffrage white is worn by women in congress the day of the state of the union. our archivist was in a white suit when the exhibition opened and the pink pussy cat. so the white dress, p pink hat, these symbols that people look at and know what they represent. >> and the white dresses at the state of the union served the same purpose. it wasn't just a nod to the history. they looked striking against all those navy blue suits. it was a visual shortcut to women, men. >> the other piece that i think is really important is that what happened after the 2017 march. an enormous outburst of energy and urge to activate and to go
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write your postcards once a week and to call your congresses and to organize for women candidates. alice was trying to repeat the march. she had to have new things that weren't going to bore people, but a march does not make, does not automatically generate power. if everybody in that march goes home and organizes and a registers vote ers and those voters vote for the causes and candidates they care about, that's power. so you have to figure out how to make the connection between the publicity and the coverage and the energy into something that's going to be a factor for change. >> and i think women do. i think we saw it in the 2018 midterms. >> i'm going to guess every single woman involved hat a pink
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pussy hat somewhere. had become aware oh, there's an embryonic resistance i want to be a part of. >> and then it turned, they went electoral politics for their organizing. a march is fine, but you've got to take it to the next step and in our democracy now, you can do that in electoral politics. some places doesn't work so well. >> only works if you have something to back it up. so, it sounds, you guys could have a fresh argument about this, but it sounds like you're saying that the pub lissy was succe successful because there was a political under hurting. >> that's right an when nancy was making reference to the league of women voters, when ever suffrage passed in the state, they passed in the 1890s.
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e she kept saying when we get ready to ratify, i'm going to need representatives in every state legislative district in the country. every district she wanted to have an awesome member ready to go. so she didn't let you become a league of women voters until your state had ratified and that power of staying in connection, of holding them ready to do the job at the state level was enormously important success. alice paul never went to nashville. she sent one representative. she ran out of money. didn't have a national network of members that was very large. historians estimate that while she may have had 3,000 members during the suffrage fight, by 1921, she was down to 600. where as cat had this enormous operation, more than 2 million women. it was only 100,000. people, their interest diffused. >> it is kind of interesting.
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question, too. the league of women voters, after women won the vote, became basically a neutral organization. didn't take a political stand or created this national women's party that was so so one issue focused and ignored so many, it was kind of powerless, but it is kind of interesting if there had been another alternative. in retrospect, it's easy to say that once they got the vote, they thought it automatically solved so many problems. perhaps it's rethought how they might reorganize to take advantage of that power. >> there was the women's trade union. many other organizations that suffered. nancy probably knows this. it was news to me. i thought it was carrie chapman cat who was in charge of the do good education, educate women for how to be good citizens. but it was adams' influence at the final convention that set up
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the league, and these two women were iconic. probably the two most powerful and respect ed women in the country in 1920 so cat says we need to be organizing and need to be running people for office and have some senators. before we know it, she's all for political organize iing and jan adams says no, let's go back to community organizing. the first haul was was community organizing. you went into the neighborhood and fix ed the problems, but yo don't necessarily translate that into legislative power. and jane adams view one and lot of people were disappointed but people went back to their causes. cat went back to international peace. jane adams found the aclu and people, they were free, but they wanted suffrage so they could do other things. >> also being educated voter is important. voting is a habit. there's a loft logistics around voting and if you've never done
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it, it can be a little intimidating. the idea that the league of women voters was to help women bei responsible voters. what issues are you going to pass with this power? but how are you going to use it in a way that you feel confident and reasonabsponsible. >> 18 million women had been voting in the 18 states that got ratification. there was a thought. i'll come back to it. sorry. >> the 1920s, too, might factor into this, too. why all of a sudden, women are voting. why didn't we have this great block of power. the '20s were kind of the jazz age. and the 1910s, people women once they got the vote, went out to pursue individual pursuits which very much reflect ed the 1920s. here's the symbol of the woman in the 1920s? the flapper.
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and it was about pleasure and individual and women went on to pursue their individual careers. not quite realizing they were ready to move on to individual things, but not quite realizing how much power they were losing by going off on their own. >> how many times have we thought that we won? >> what a good point. >> i'm encouraged by the 2018 elections. still have a long way to go. people are are still on a representative par with the population, but i think in some of these younger women, and men, too, women of color, these people coming in in congress. you have a front row seat. i'm optimistic. >> the great thing about having an audience is that i get to stop asking questions and you all get to ask questions. so we have microphones on either
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side of the room. i have one request, which is that you ask a question. so, if you could make it approximately 20 seconds long and have it end with a question mark, that would be awesome. we can get to as many people as possible that way. oh, and tell us who you are. >> my name is jason. so, it hasn't really been mentioned yet, but like a main parallel movement occurring amongst women at this time, which is support for the temperance movement in the past and prohibition and there's a lot of entanglement between those and the dual passage of those also seems to have something to do with you know, the you know, pretty much the di disapation. if you could speak to that. i didn't put a question mark. >> so, yes, a lot of women came
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to the suffrage movement because of temperance. they figured they couldn't get it without the vote. the movement that association was more useful because a lot of suffrages got crash courses in field organizing and publicity and all the things we've been talking about from the temperance movement. as we got to the 20th century, the associations became sort of less useful in part because they competed for funding and attention, but also that caricature of suf fragists whic was everywhere in cartoons and all over the place, was really reenforced by oh, they're going to take away your boots, right. so, the 20th century suffrage
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movement spent a little time disidi distancing themselves from that image. we talk ed a little bit about editorial cory toons. the women's party and suffragists had a islander who created this islander girl who was young and lovely and stylish and aspirational. she was as far from the chrome that was going to take your beer as she could possibly be. there was ways it was useful. >> taking away the beer was a big deal because as prohibition, the women's union allowed themselves, it brought all its enemies with it. so brewers and saloon owners and big city democratic bosses and immigrants in the midwest weren't thrilled to have that association. just recently, they published a study analyzing the members of voted for suffrage and prohibition. those were votes within four months of each other and they are not the same.
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people had always supposed there would be overlap, but the men who vote for suffrage are men who have women in their district. they have church issues, southern issues. have different issues. >> how hard it is to amend the constitution. so if you're only going to get one of them, you start to compete with each other. >> the last election, we saw a big imbalance between which party was getting the most women into office on the federal level. what do you see as future trends for, is this going to be a permanent ip imbalance or what are people's predictions? >> we should let tim. hi. >> well, yes. there were significantly more
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democratic women elected to congress in 2018 than there were republican women. and i mean, the fact is that is sort of a long standing trend. that it was just particularly dramatic in 2018. one republican woman, congresswoman from upstate new york, thinks that this is a problem and she is now actively working to recruit more republican women to raise money for republican women. she has a pact that she has formed. with this specific goal of getting more republican women into congress so that the it will be a bit more representative. some people laughed at her and wrote her off initially. some of her colleagues. but who knows how it will work out. you have to make it through a primary to get into a general election and often, that, on
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both sides of the aisle, is a challenge for female candidates still. >> this is nancy tate again to make a few remarks about the league of women voters, which i should have emphasized in my remarks when chapman was founding the league, she did envision that we were there to continue the fight and the fight of course we've interpreted broadly and you do that with both education and advocacy. part of education is not just for each individual to know what's on the ballot, but for the public to understand that's what candidate forms and a lot of other education is for the public to understand the issues as the suffragists had to do, to understand it, understand why some of those arguments against the vote were not valid. the league began accepting men in the 1970s. we've been fighting for full equality for all americans and the league today is very active
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in filgt fooigting all the voter disempowerment laws around the country. i'm just saying. >> but like a lot of organizations, the league did not admit black women immediately. there were some states that would insist on black votes. ohio and illinois wanted to have black members but that did not become common place until the civil rights movement. >> to this side. >> sam kershner. thank you for being here. you talked a lot about the really tough and smart suffs that got this through, but there was also a tough and smart group of antis. so what did they do wrong or what strategies did the suffs employ that were better or more effective than the antis? >> the antis almost won in
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tennessee. >> i would say that weren't as media salve ji. there was one thing, they showed up at a a suffrage parade all wearing scarlet a letters. meaning anti, but -- yeah. yeah, they weren't quite as adept with the media. and also, too, they were pretty reactive, i think. more reactive than they were. they really didn't have a, i think i don't know. >> antisuffrage, the opposition women were very powerful and the two heads of the national organization were the wife of senator wads worth of new york. new york never voted for suffrage until after the state had passed it and robert lancing's wife, the wife of the secretary of state. so they were not a small, unknown group. they were filled with prominent women, who because of their elite status, thought they did not need to vote, but in tennessee, they were very eff t
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effective with their pr. you had the war of the roses. the pros wore yellow roses and the antis wore red. that's why everyone was surprised when harry burns entered the chamber with a red rose. but the antis tried everything. they threatened primary challenges and business boycotts and said they would kidnap members of the legislature to keep them from voting. so cat actually using tennessee women as her surrogates, had people patrolling the railroad stations so that nobody could get whisked out of town and miss their vote. i don't under cut. there's no other state to pass in that during that legislative session. >> the other thing is the antisuffragists, there were a lot of different groups who are for different reasons. there were the organized led by women antisuffrage. the official antisuffrages, but
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then anyone who employed child labor. the catholic church. bob bobby. you know, there were plenty of other antisuffrage groups that didn't necessarily share an agenda with the women who were leading the officially suffrage groups. so it wasn't that. >> hi, my name is david. my question, i have two. the first is you talk about the history tonight and i have to admit i thought i knew a little bit about history and what i didn't was the women's movement, quite honestly, until rebecca was kind enough to give me her book. i don't know, as an educator, in the schools, if we do a really good job of pointing out just how difficult it was. i think it goes in passing. so my first question so the panel is do you think we should or could do a better job and the more important question is would that help?
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that's the easy question. the second one is this. pick your favorite. this has not been a great week. great month for women, okay. if they were alive today and they came back, would they be surprised at where we are now? or do you think they would have expected we would be here? you spend a lot of time for them, i know you can't speak with them. pick one and go with it. >> i'll pick one. i think margaret sanger would be almost rolling over in her grave. she was a suffragist, too, besides a birth control advocate. >> she wanted it so there wouldn't be any abortion. she's a heroine, no doubt about it. we decided in the green room we were going to raise that topic. i, i've been in schools for most of my professional career at the college and high school level. the question about civics obviously appeals. the entire country needs more
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civics education and i appreciate the kind of things cameron does on "the news hour" to have constant conversation or cookie on n prpr in the morning telling us history torre stories about how our government works. i think nothing else in the week before every november election, every school needs to talk about the fight for women's suffrage, the fight for african-american suffrage, voter se precious, how these issues are not stopped. they're still current issue, whether people have access to the ballot and how we can guarantee it and how it's not a bad thing to let everybody vote. let them show their id when they show up. this country is a democracy and needs to vote. it's kind of grown into its democracy. it used to annoy me teaching that jacksonion democracy, white men who didn't own property had the right to vote, gets so much attention rather than the 15th or 19th amendment or the voter rights act.
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>> not only is civic education is important, history, right, like occasionally, you get this sort of pat on the head, oh, it gives girls a role model. no, the reason to learn women's history is that history without women is wrong. right? there's no way that women haven't been agents of historical change since there have been women. >> and it's a shared history. we're all citizens. it's american history. >> amen, sister. >> and i just have to add and i don't know if you guys hf thoughts op this or not, but i mean, you're steeped in the history. so this is, this is your reality all the time. but for me, thinking that it's only been 100 years, right, but it is mind boggling, it is just absolutely mind boggling. but i also think that it, so my
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grandmother, who was born in 1913, right, so before women had the -- 1916, there's my mother correcting me. she went on to become a member of congress and ambassador. so in her lifetime, she live d the change and we are still connected to women who lived the change. and that, although it is shocking and horrifying that it's only been 100 years and that's crazy, it does mean that we still have a connection to this story. and also 20th century history it's really the picture. >> over here. >> hi. hannah wagner. i was wonderfing with the electric mobility we've seen around the 2018 election and also recent laws out of like alabama, what would you say is the most important r or one of the most important pieces of wisdom the suffragettes are
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beginning the movement today? >> never quit. don't give up. but also everything we've been talking about. you know, think about how things look. know your opposition. make friends. you know. >> count votes. >> count votes. do your homework. you know, all of these lessons that they accomplished so well and occasionally failed out and we can learn from that, too. so there's like the big headline, never give up. but the sometimes slow and fascinating and tedious progress of making societal change, you can learn so much about how to be a good activist from the suffrage movement. >> it might teach you patience. >> that's the word that came to mind. >> i7 years is a little too long. patience and fortitude, i want things to go faster, but the fact they didn't give up for all that time and they did finally
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succeed and it's taken almost another 70 years before women became effective political actors in how they voted and the kind of legislation they backed. but i'm very optimistic about where we are now. i think the power of the 2018 election, those new young women, if they handle themselves eff t effectively, i think we're blessed by leader pelosi in terms of demonstrating women's leadership roles. i mean, just to have the most powerful woman in the country. just to have the most powerful woman in the country so close to a presidential position, it's very empowering to everybody else. >> all right. >> thank you. my name is andrew henley. you had spoken quickly about the flapper movement. more of a question with the move towards urbanism. where do you think, do you think the men that could have been passed if it was five to ten years later?
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>> oh, good question. yes, yes. so that's the first time more americans are living in cities than on farms, which changes congressional representation. it's also about the first decade of the great migration. so blacks are moving into northern cities as well as california and they, for the first time, have political organizations and state and local representatives and newspapers, so i think you might have had quite a large voting base. in favor of suffrage before the crash. because poverty really killed women's movement. >> thank you for that question. >> sorsorry, i'm a shorter. at a time it seems that politicians involvement and rather their advocacy for
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women's rights tends to be a partisan issue, how can we encourage more female participation across the board when you see the fight for basic rights really going towards one's side? how do we keep the richness of the bipartisan electorate going? >> i would say start by not tearing each other down. one of the reasons women's is e issues seem part a san is that they make it that way. if you don't think someone has a valid point of view that is opposite of yours and you're not respectful of that, then you're part of the problem. that doesn't mean you're not committed to your own cause or think you are truly right. but i think the -- comes from us taking each other out. >> i wish women could take a
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deep breath and start to come together. the violence against women act a. child care legislation. rules about adoption. there must be some common ground where they could be leading the way and bringing male allies in with them. one of the things the center for the american politics at rutgers is a wonderful thing. publishes all kinds of charts and measures and if you want to know the number of women in new hampshire, you can find it anywhere today. so any kind of piece of data that you want. but they have found in the '60s and '70s, where there weren't near as many women in congress as there are now, those women came together over women health. your grandmother's credit bill. they found common ground. because there were so few of them, women wrote to them with their problems. they represented many women and they found ways to work across
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line. i like to think in those days weren't as partisan, but we were pretty partisan. so but they found common ground because they saw themselves as representing more than their district and not worried about being primary. they saw themselves as representing women voters. >> i also think women aren't a monolithic entity. you know. it's an unrealistic thing. almost insulting. i think instead of it being a male female issue, there are many men who are better feminists than women. and i guess i would like to see, i would like to see agenda of women who cared about humanity. those values together. >> the men on the banking committee weren't writing in the piece about women getting equal credit and the men in the health and education services committee were not writing in research for
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women's cancer. so it did take women in the room to make a difference. women on both sides. >> definitely. it takes more than just women. >> i agree with that. and it's never going to happen. >> people expect us all to disagree. there's wonderful diversity among american women. we have a lot of different competing interests. >> you're up. >> thank you for the conversation. this has been great. my name is lucia. can you tell us the status of the equal rights amendment today? i know that we need one more state. it was recently addressed and failed. where are we with this?
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>> deep breath. this was the subject of a book i abandoned to write the one i'm working on now. it was introduced in 1970 and passed in march 1972 and the deadline as almost every amendment had had. failed to ratify enough states. got the extension, failed by 1982. the equal rights amend that that failed. so for states that did not vote on it before or states that have since changed their vote, to vote now, will lead to an immediate court challenge because who's amendment are they ratifying? there was a sense that you had to have timeliness. the equal rights amendment that mart martha rufus pushed through was supported on both sides. it had luge bipartisan support. many of those men never expected it to come to the floor and
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vote. but they did vote for it and it had huge bipartisan support. so you can deal with the old amendment and there will be a court challenge no matter if other states are for it now and you have to ask what happens to the states who rescinded it during that time period. while it got to 35, three states rescinded. so maybe they only had 32 states. if you start with a new equal rights amendment in the congress, it will not pass. there's no support. carolyn maloney, congresswoman from new york, has just been valiant. she introduces it, attempts to get hearings. there were hearings last week. i think it's right. i think there's a constitutional argument to make it happen, but we do not have the power to pass it. no the congress or the state legislatures. it would never, a new one would not be ratified and the current one would be challenged. >> all right. >> so depressing. seems as though all the
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microphones have disappeared except for hours. >> i think it's a sign. >> i think it is a sign. do any of you have closing thoughts on this? >> vote often. >> early and often. >> even in the weird, off year school board elections. do it. >> and knowing how hard these women defended it. they fought for the vote. it wasn't handed to them. it's a precious thing. >> not only do i hate they were given the right to vote construction because of course they fought for it, but i would argue, it was just finally recognized that they had it. if you are a citizen of the united states. >> study history. >> thank you, guys. >> that was great.
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>> coming up, american history tv features women in politics. we begin in a moment with geraldine ferraro in san francisco. she was running with walter mondale. that's followed by sarah palin's acceptance speech to run with john mccain in 2008 then the u.s. house historian shows us photos of women who have held offices in congress since 1917. coming up on cspan3. >> you're watching american history tv. every weekend on cspan3, explore our nation's past. cspan3. created by america's cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider.
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>> new york congresswoman ferraro was the first woman nominate d by a major party by presidential ticket. up next, she accepts the vice presidential nomination at the 1984 democratic national convention in san francisco. she and walter mondale would lose the general election to gop nominees reagan and george h.w. bush. ♪

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