A Cherokee County School District student has earned first place in Georgia in a statewide essay contest!
Free Home Elementary School fifth-grader Katie Rickert is her grade level’s winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s American History Essay Contest.
Her essay, which is from the perspective of an American woman in the days after women earned the right to vote, first won at the Northwest Georgia District level before advancing to the statewide contest. She and her family will be honored at the organization’s School Youth Luncheon later this month.
She also will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at a School Board meeting later this spring.
“We are proud of her, and appreciate the teachers who take the time and effort to encourage participation in this contest,” said Pam Dover, Vice Regent of the organization's Hightower Trail Chapter. “We believe that fostering a love for American history is one of the important things we do as members of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Katie Rickert's award-winning essay:
The Women’s Suffrage Campaign
It's a crisp fall morning in Washington D.C. People are out celebrating the re-election of President Wilson. I am not happy with the election results, as I would have liked Charles Hughes to be our new president, but I did not get to vote as I am a woman.
My parents have quietly supported the NAWSA for many years. Activists like Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucy Burns and Alice Paul were frequently discussed at our dinner table, due to their involvement in demonstrations and their work in many of the western states which were already allowing women to vote.
I would like to be involved in the NAWSA, but my parents would not approve, so I support the cause from afar. To me the women's suffrage movement is so much more than the right to vote. I cannot currently own property and, if I would ever get divorced, my husband will automatically get custody of our children. I watched the NAWSA protest in front of the White House almost daily. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns lead many of these demonstrations. The women were picketing and waving signs that say “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" or “Mr. President, what will you do for women suffrage?” In later years Wilson's speeches would be burned in protest. Many of the protestors were arrested and sent to jail for up to 6 months. The women took part in a hunger strikes and had to be force fed while in prison. Americans were upset at the treatment of these women and this helped the women’s’ suffrage cause.
During World War I, the women had to take over many of the occupations previously held by men because they were sent away to fight. No longer were women sitting at home knitting and caring for the children, they were now helping the American War Effort. Since women were doing men's work they should be treated as equals to their male counterparts and should receive equal pay and benefits which includes the right to vote.
President Wilson had quietly supported the suffrage moment prior to and during the World War. He pledged his support publicly and in November of 1917 he asked senators to vote for a suffrage amendment. The members of Congress had to weigh both sides of the suffrage issues. People who supported alcohol sales and factory owners were against letting women vote. They believed that women would support safer working conditions and higher wages. Women throughout the country wanted to right to vote. Farmers, factory workers, teachers, nurses, homemakers etc., all supported the suffrage movement in one way or another.
On January 10th, 1918, we were almost ready for woman to vote. The House of Representatives voted 274 to 136 to pass the amendment .We had to let the Senate pass the vote. When they did the first vote on October 1, 1918 the amendment lost by two votes. Later, when the Senate voted the second time, the amendment lost again by one vote. Finally, the Senate voted on June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment passed. It took over a year before three-quarters of the states agreed to make the amendment happen in the United States of America. Finally on August 18th, 1920, all women including me can vote.
Today it’s time to vote for our new president, but it isn’t any old “all men” voting day. Today it’s when women all around the country get to vote! I have a good feeling that Warren Harding will win, but that doesn’t matter, I’m just glad I can vote.