On April 5, 1919, women in Missouri were guaranteed the right to vote...for the President of the United States. Two months before the U.S. Congress passed the women's suffrage bill, the Missouri legislature passed the "Presidential Suffrage Bill" clearing the path for the women of Missouri to vote in the presidential election. The Missouri Women's Suffrage Association (later known as the League of Women Voters) had worked tirelessly to gain the vote since its founding in 1867.
One of the hallmarks of the movement in Missouri was the Golden Lane that occurred during the 1916 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis. Nearly 2,000 women lined St. Louis streets wearing white dresses with yellow sashes and carrying yellow parasols. The men attending the convention couldn’t help but notice the women as they walked from their hotel to the Coliseum.
One of the speakers at this year's MoSGA conference is Margot McMillen, author of The Golden Lane. Ms. McMillen will discuss the "walkless, talkless parade" that showed delegates that after 75 years of argument, women had made their point and carried the burdens of modern society just as men did. They deserved to vote. Women from every state and many foreign countries participated in suffrage demonstrations.
Did you have an ancestor who came to St. Louis for the event? Or someone who worked for or against women's suffrage? Bring your stories to the August conference, or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and Margot will try to work them into her talk.
The MoSGA Conference will be 2-3 August. Don't forget to register at mosga.org. See you there!