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100 years ago in Spokane: Women urged to vote against Woodrow Wilson because he opposed their right to vote

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

From our archives, 100 years ago

National political activists arrived in Spokane, urging women to cast their votes against Democratic incumbent Woodrow Wilson.

Why? Because of his administration’s opposition to the federal women’s suffrage amendment.

Inez Milholland Boissevain and her “little sister,” Vida Milholland were touring the Western states to urge votes against Wilson. Boissevain was a noted New York lawyer and suffragist activist and Milholland was a “singer of prominence.”

Boissevain told a crowd of 1,000 men and women at the Strand Theater that she was on “a sacred mission” to urge “women to stand by women” in the upcoming presidential election.

Suffrage was not entirely partisan issue, and Boissevain was asked how she knew she could depend upon Republicans to advance the suffragist cause. She said she did not know for sure, but if “we roll up a big enough vote … we put ourselves in the position of where whatever party is elected can not afford to ignore our demands.”

Women had already won the right to vote in Washington, but ratification of the 19th Amendment was still four years away.

From the murder beat: Emotions ran high during closing arguments in the Herman Rossi murder trial in Wallace, Idaho. “Many of the feminine portion of the crowd used their handkerchiefs freely” when Rossi’s attorney begged the jury to allow Rossi to “resume his life in this little mountain city.”

A correspondent said that Rossi would “be speedily freed” if Wallace had its way, judging from what he had heard on the street. The case would soon be going to the jury.

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