Victorious Ladies

Tomorrow is the 107th anniversary of the election that finally awarded California women the right to vote. Woman Suffrage, as the cause was termed, had strong opposition, and a similar measure had been defeated in 1896 by well-populated San Francisco and Alameda counties. In 1911, however, organized suffragists strategically targeted Southern California and small towns statewide. They visited churches, clubs, schools, and private homes door to door, handing out leaflets and copies of newspaper articles explaining the rightness of their campaign and deflecting the opinions of critics—male and female—who felt that suffrage would somehow lower the standards of womanhood. The general election took place October 10, 1911, and when the ballots were counted, a majority of 3,587 male voters agreed that the goodness of their mothers, sisters, and wives compelled them to grant the franchise to women. California was the sixth state to give women the right to vote, following Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Washington state.


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