100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the category “Women”

New Organization Fights For Woman Suffrage Amendment

The fight for the right of women to vote, Woman Suffrage, had made great strides in the November 1912 elections in the US.


Alice Paul was born in Mt Laurel Township, New Jersey in January 1885. Upon graduating college she went to Great Britain to work with the Women’s Social and Political Union fighting for women’s rights in Britain. After being arrested at a demonstration, Paul met Lucy Burns, an American from Brooklyn, New York who had been attending graduate school in Germany before joining the women’s rights struggle with British activist Emeline Pankhurst. Paul and Burns both lamented on the inactivity and ineffective leadership of the American suffrage movement.

Paul and Burns returned to the US in 1912 and joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Paul was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee where they organize a suffrage parade for President Wilson’s inauguration. Both women wanted to push for a constitutional amendment but the leaders of the NAWSA did not think it practical and wanted to work on a state by state basis. for the times. Paul and Burns thought otherwise.

On January 2, 1913 Alice Paul and Lucy Burns started the Congressional Union of the National American Women Suffrage Association, a separate committee that focused on passing an amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote. They plan to lobby congressmen and make sure president Wilson keeps his promises made to the suffrage movement during the election. The NAWSA leadership is wary of this new group.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul

Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns


Issued January 2, 1913

LIFE is a weekly magazine published since January 1883. A revolutionary new printing process using zinc-coated plates improved the reproduction of illustrations and artwork and allowed LIFE to compete with established magazines like JUDGE and PUCK. “We wish to have some fun in this paper… We shall try to domesticate as much as possible of the casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an unfriendly world… “. It became a place to introduce new illustrators like Charles Dana Gibson who introduced his iconic figure “The Gibson Girl” in LIFE.

Charles Dana Gibson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in September 1867. He was enrolled by his parents in New York’s Art Students League and sold his first illustration to LIFE magazine in 1886.He quickly became popular and contributed to every major New York publication such as Harper’s Weekly, Scribners and Collier’s as well as major newspapers. In 1890 he began developing “The Gibson Girl”, an iconic female face and figure that typified the style of women at the time based on his wife Irene Langhorne and her sister.

On January 2, 1913 LIFE magazine celebrated its 30 year anniversary by publishing the Birthday Number using artwork by Gibson from drawing he did in 1907 titled THE STORY OF HIS LIFE.

THE STORY OF HIS LIFE by Charles Dana Gibson1907

THE STORY OF HIS LIFE by Charles Dana Gibson

The caption of the January 2, 1913 LIFE magazine cover reads: “The story of his life : Once upon a time, thirty years ago….”

courtesy of 2neat.com – seller of vintage magazines


Issued December 14, 1912

December 14, 1912

Whaling Expedition In Korea
Charles Dana Gibson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in September 1867. He was enrolled by his parents in New York’s Art Students League and sold his first illustration to LIFE magazine in 1886.He quickly became popular and contributed to every major New York publication such as Harper’s Weekly, Scribners and Collier’s as well as major newspapers. In 1890 he began developing “The Gibson Girl”, an iconic female face and figure that typified the style of women at the time based on his wife Irene Langhorne and her sister.

On December 14, 1912 Gibson drew the cover art for COLLIER’S FOR CHRISTMAS.


Issued December 4, 1912

Oregon recently gave women equal rights including the right to participate in jury trials.

On December 4, 1912 commenting on this judicial development, the PORTLAND DAILY TELEGRAM published the editorial cartoon of a jury box filled with fashionable young women in front of a young and nattily dressed male defendant arrested (“pinched”) and on trial for burglary suggesting women would be swayed by good looks and that women would only consider the appearance of a criminal and can be easily fooled.19121204(2)


Issued December 1, 1912


THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL -December 1, 1912

The Semi-Monthly Magazine

“The Captain of the Susan Drew”


LE FROU FROU – December 1, 1912
A dark haired girl in a peach dress combing her hair as a bald man in a tuxedo looks on


THE POPULAR MAGAZINE – December 1, 1912



Supplement, vol. 1, no. 19
Rose colored coat with blue fox fur trim worn over peg-top skirt. Hat adorned with upright feather plume

Women’s Rights Triumph In Oregon

Woman’s Suffrage made great strides in the 1912 elections. .https://100yearsagotoday.wordpress.com/?s=Oregon+suffrage

In 1912 Oregon voters were asked to vote on the issue of woman suffrage for the sixth time. The National American Woman Suffrage Association took over and hosted parades, rallies, and public speeches. Woman suffrage leagues were created all over the state and suffragists began to argue increasingly that votes for women would lead to an improved moral condition for the state.By 1912 Oregon was surrounded by states which had won suffrage. Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), and California (1911). On November 5, 1912 the voters of Oregon approved a woman’s right to vote by amending the State Constitution Section 2 of Article 11.On November 30, 1912 Oregon made it official with the Proclamation of Woman’s Suffrage in Oregon :
http://library.uoregon.edu/ec/exhibits/feminist-voices/proclamation.htmlIt was signed by long-time Oregon suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway, age 79.
Abigail Scott Duniway signing the Proclamation of Woman's Suffrage as as Governor Oswald West watches November 30, 1912

Abigail Scott Duniway signing the Proclamation of Woman’s Suffrage as as Governor Oswald West watches
November 30, 1912

On the same day the new amendment was seen to be put in action when Hattie Corkett of Bend, Oregon became the first woman seated on a jury in Oregon. She is an “ardent suffragette” as her mother was the first woman admitted to the Bar in Minnesota, 1879.

Woman Suffrage Movement in Oregon by Jessica Bertling


Issued November 20, 1912

The JOURNAL DES DAMES ET DES MODES (Journal of Ladies and Methods) is one of the first illustrated fashion magazines. During the French Revolution fashion was frowned upon and simple dress was encouraged. When Napoleon was coming to power restrictions on fashion were lifted and journals like the General Table of Taste and Fashion and Costumes of Paris were published. In 1797 bookseller John Baptiste Sellèque started the JOURNAL DES DAMES ET DES MODES. Since court had been abolished he looked to the social gathering places of Paris – the theater, dances and promenades to discover the bold new outfits developed by dressmakers and seamstresses. When the Empire was established under Napoleon a new audience of readers, especially women, were eager for novelties and advice. LE JOURNAL DES DAMES ET METHODS  gave this information while providing a showcase for the French textile industry. It stopped publishing in 1836.

George Barbier was born in Nantes, France in October 1882. In 1911 he mounted his first exhibition and was an immediate success. He was  commissioned to design theater and ballet costumes, illustrate books, and to produce haute couture fashion illustrations.
The concept of JOURNAL DES DAMES ET DES MODES was relaunched in June 1912. Every issue carefully reviewed all the current novelties of fashion and carried colored stencil prints reproducing the latest conceptions of the fashion designers. It is issued regularly 3 times a month and illustrated by Barbier and others with writing by noted authors such as Jean Cocteau. The journal is an expression “of the most refined Parisian elegance and illustrated by the most gifted designers and illustrators of the time.”

November 20, 1912 – Supplement, vol. 1, no. 18 
Chinese silk dress trimmed with fur worn with a green velvet coat with fur collar and cuffs and silver tassels


Women Celebrate Recent Election Victories In New York

The fight for women’s suffrage in the US has been going on since the mid-19th century and their tactics have changed with the times. A recent development if the suffrage parade, a way of publicizing their cause and combating the idea that women should be relegated to the home. Parades often united women of different social and economic backgrounds. Because they were carried out in public, they also became newsworthy which helped to spread the suffragists’ message.

In the recent national elections, 4 states have voted for giving women the right to vote.


On November 9, 1912 Women’s Suffrage supporters celebrated by torchlight in New York City, New York. 15,000 cheering and singing women and men celebrated with a brilliant parade on Fifth Avenue.

Suffrage Night Parade
New York City
November 9, 1912

Suffrage Night Parade participants


New Altitude Record Set For Two People

Henry Bingham Brown was born in Walpole New Hampshire in 1883. He began experimenting with flying in 1911.

On November 6, 1912 Brown set an altitude record for two people at 5,300 feet at the Oakwood Heights meet of the Aeronautical Society in Staten Island, New York. His passenger is Isabella Patterson from Vancouver, British Columbia. It also the highest flight taken by a woman. A crowd of 7,000 watched as Brown ascended to smash a record that had been 3,347 feet.

Henry Bingham Brown and Isabella Patterson after breaking an American altitude record (5300 ft)
Staten Island, New York
November 6, 1912

Woman Suffrage Makes Great Advances In 1912 Election

Woman’s suffrage, the right for women to vote, had been introduced in the mid 19th century and supported by the Populist movement of the 1890’s. The 1912 election saw the struggle catapulted to a national issue with women coming out to support presidential candidates as well as fighting for their own rights. Before 1900 4 states had given women the right to vote – Wyoming (1869), Utah (1870), Colorado (1893) and Idaho (1896) but these had small populations. In 1910 Washington then in 1911 California had joined in enfranchising women and the 6 states had 1.3 million voting women. What once had been a struggle of individual women and small groups transformed into masses of women backing candidates.

In 1912 the Republican National Committee set up committees of women in the counties of all the States where women have the ballot to work in harmony with the party representatives but did not support national suffrage for women. Theodore Roosevelt who had written his senior thesis at Harvard on the “Practicability of Equalizing Men and Women before the Law” and voted for a woman suffrage bill while serving in the New York State Assembly split from the Republicans to form the Progressive Party which made national women’s suffrage one of it’s party’s issues. The Democratic Party is the least responsive to pleas for woman suffrage. Local Democratic women’s clubs had existed for decades but were not encouraged or endorsed by the national party. The election of 1912 was the first time that the Democratic National Committee authorized and supported an appeal to women.
On November 5, 1912 women won the vote in referendums in Kansas, Oregon and Arizona though suffrage lost decisively in Wisconsin and Ohio. This now make 9 states that have given women the right to vote.

Women Suffrage lunch wagon – Oregon 1912

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