November 8, 2010 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

By The Spokesman-Review
 

From our archives, 100 years ago

The headline exclaimed: “Women Paint Town.”

That’s because on Nov. 8, 1910, women won the right to vote in Washington.

After decades of struggle, the suffrage movement had succeeded in placing an equal suffrage amendment to the state constitution on the ballot.

But would the all-male electorate of the state ever approve this amendment?

The answer became clear late on Nov. 8 when election results came in. The final tally: 52,299 in favor, 29,676 against. Support was overwhelming throughout the state.

“Practically Every County in the State Wants Franchise Extended,” said a headline in the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Spokane’s May Arkwright Hutton was a key figure in the suffrage movement, and her Washington Political Equality League was planning a huge banquet and celebration.

“The men of Washington stand for a square deal and I am proud of them,” Hutton said.

Yet she added that the campaign was strong because it was “at all times under the control of the women of this state.”

Washington was the fifth state to allow equal suffrage. Women in the rest of the country had to wait until 1920.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1889: Montana became the 41st state. … 2000: A statewide recount began in Florida, which emerged as critical in deciding the winner of the 2000 presidential election.

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