90 Years Ago: A Woman's Vote
This is the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
I studied history in school, so I knew the facts about the long process for women to get the vote. But the best lessons come in context. On the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, I'm reminded of the excellent film Iron Jawed Angels and the evening we watched it.
This is a great and drama-filled HBO movie, and you should rent it. If you have a daughter, you must rent it.
It tells the remarkable story of how the final push for passage came to be. Like I said, rent it.
I first saw the film with good friends Jim and Rose in California and my wife, Roberta. Rose has worked on elections as long as I have known her, with leadership roles in U.S. House, Senate, mayor, and even presidential races.
She has been the campaign manager for each of Sen. Barbara Boxer's Senate races. Here in Idaho when we see candidates get Senate seats, well, let's just say it's often not a lot of work. California is huge, and running these campaigns is a big deal, hotly contested, and like this year closely watched.
This year that race is between two women candidates.
After seeing Iron Jawed Angels, I was in Washington, DC, and right next door to one of the US Senate offices is the home of the organization at the center of Iron Jawed Angels. I saw real examples of what was portrayed in the film, pictures and museum pieces from the actual campaign.
Working as I do in the depths of Idaho politics, it's easy to forget that real progress can and has been made if you work hard for it. A toast to the 90th anniversary of one of our nation's biggest steps forward: Let us not forget how long and hard it was to get.