An organizer for the National American Woman Suffrage Association hired by the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (KERA), Lily Ray Glenn came to Hopkinsville on April 16th during her 1914 tour across Kentucky to help start local chapters of the KERA. Much of her success was probably due to the fact that her father was from Todd County and she could make personal connections with Kentuckians. Before the large audience in the new Avalon assembly hall, Judge W.P.
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Call for Applications from PhD Candidates
This post is a reply to one of the entries on the KWSP Timeline. Kentucky was the 24th state to ratify the "Susan B. Anthony" Amendment - not the 23rd as has been stated in several reputable sources. Rhode Island's legislature had also met on its opening day on January 6, 1920, and passed the ratification resolution in both houses soon after 1 p.m. Kentucky's legislature did not finalize its resolution until just after 4 p.m. the same day.
When Mary Elliott Flanery (D-Catlettsburg) of Boyd County took her seat in the lower house of the General Assembly in January 1922, she was the first female state legislator elected in Kentucky and the first female legislator elected south of the Mason–Dixon line. The 1921 state elections in the South were crucial in justifying the fight for women's right to participate in electoral politics. The elections in Boyd County (for the Kentucky House of Representatives District No.
With global pandemic on our minds, it is interesting to think back to 1918 when disease was also raging. Someone asked this week, how did suffragists, who were in the latter stages of pushing for the Nineteenth amendment, deal with the disruptions that the 1918 epidemic brought. Here in Kentucky, suffragists often temporarily put their work for the vote on hold.
Even though the Kentucky Equal Rights Association had organized the largest suffrage parade ever in the state on May 6, 1916, and they had a glittering array of women lobbyists at the Democratic State Convention held in Lexington May 24th, the Democratic Party of Kentucky still refused to endorse a woman suffrage plank.
According to a May 1916 press release published in the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Equal Rights Association appointed a Suffrage Plank Committee for the Republican Party under the leadership of Virginia Lee Hazelrigg O'Rear of West Liberty. O'Rear was the wife of Edward C. O'Rear, formerly the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals who had resigned to run in a failed bid for governor in 1911. They were living at this time in Frankfort.
Kentucky woman suffrage advocates were confident that 1916 was going to be the year that the legislature would put forward a bill calling for a statewide vote to amend the Kentucky constitution for equal access to the franchise. Madeline McDowell Breckinridge chaired the legislative campaign committee for the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (KERA) and persuaded two Lexington congressmen - Senator Thomas A. Combs and Representative W.C.G. Hobbs - to champion statewide woman suffrage in bills that session.
On March 12, 1914, the Kentucky General Assembly almost passed, but eventually defeated, a bill to send a woman suffrage amendment to the people of the Commonwealth for a referendum vote. Even though women of Kentucky had won partial suffrage in 1912 (voting in school related elections), many county clerks resisted allowing women to register and vote.