Votes for Women
Perhaps the first effect of the war on us was the flu epidemic of 1917, killing more people than the war itself; it leaves the nation in mourning. Another effect of the war involves America's women. Women have been doing more than war work. They've been marching for their rights. Some of the men chuckle when they hear of it. Imagine, women are demanding equality: They want to be full citizens, they want to vote. Why, soon they may want to wear pants, too!
In 1917, Alice Paul , a suffragist, and some other women march in front of the White House. They carry a big banner. It says: "20 Million American Women Are Not Self-Governed." Anne Martin is one of the women protesters. She writes, "This is what we are doing with our banners before the White House, petitioning the most powerful representative of the government, the president of the United States, for a redress of grievances; we are asking him to use his great power to secure the passage of the national suffrage amendment."
The police tell the women to leave. "Has the law been changed?" asks Alice Paul, leader of the group. "No," says the police officer, "but you must stop." Alice answers, "We have consulted our lawyers. We have a legal right to picket. Later, from prison, Anne Martin speaks passionately: "Persecution has always advanced the cause of justice. The right of American women to work for democracy must be maintained."