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sarah walker

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

Multiple attempts for women’s suffrage were made in Dakota Territory and North Dakota before the approval and passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919. One of the first occurred during the eighth territorial session, held December 1868 to January 1869.

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

As suffragists worked for their right to vote, they used the holidays to show support for their communities, simultaneously raising awareness for the fight for women’s right to vote.

It was reported that in 1909 in New York, Mrs. Alva Belmont, a financial benefactress and leader of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and the National Woman’s Party, gave two thousand dolls to poor children; and “each… wore a yellow ‘votes for women’ sash.” Newspapers editorialized, “there seems to be some hope for the cause if the coming generation is to be brought up with suffrage thrust at it from infancy.”

Stores Close, Part 2

Dec 26, 2019

If you listened to Dakota Datebook on Christmas Eve, you may recall that in 1914, a push was sweeping through the Eastern portion of the state to close stores early, for the sake of the employees, allowing them to celebrate the holiday at home with family and friends, rather than working with harried customers who are scrambling over picked-over stock.

Shopping for Christmas has become as much of a season unto itself as the actual holidays. It seems that the start of shopping deals creeps up earlier and earlier. Now many stores open on Thanksgiving, and "deals" on products can start even sooner.

However, in 1914, this state of commercialism had some focus at the opposite end of the shopping "season." Shoppers rushed around stores on Christmas Eve, staying late, pushing into the personal lives of the store owners and workers.

On this date in 1930, Bismarck was busy preparing for the town’s first-ever presentation of Handel's "Messiah." Clarion Larsen, director of the production, believed the production would help inspire the community. Larsen noted that the youth in Bismarck showed an interest in studying music, but the adults, while happy to put forward their progeny for this, did not seem to take part themselves.

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

Governor Lynn Frazier had called a special session in late November 1919 that addressed, among other issues, the proposed 19th Amendment to the US Constitution to grant women the right to vote. The House and Senate both voted in favor by December 1st, and it was signed by both branches on December 4th.

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

The right for women to vote was disputed for decades. Women and men alike populated both sides of the debate. Proponents united in rallying behind the push for change, which eventually resulted in the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. On this date in 1889, North Dakotans were also celebrating their first Thanksgiving as members of a new state.

North Dakota had become a state earlier in the month. The Bismarck Tribune reported on that by saying, "No sooner was the news of the receipt of this telegram upon the streets than Bismarck was one grand cyclone of cheers and shouts, music and cannonading."

Deer Season Mix-Up

Nov 21, 2019

On this date in 1922, hunters greeted the beginning of deer season. Or, rather, they were supposed to. Initially, some had greeted it earlier in the month, on the 10th.

U.C.T. Halloween

Oct 30, 2019

The United Commercial Travelers is a non-profit fraternal benefit society that touts services and products for its clientele, while giving back to the local communities. It formed in Columbus, Ohio, as a society to provide accident insurance and other benefits for traveling salesman and their families. The organization spread throughout the United States and Canada, but today, Grand Forks has the only local chapter in North Dakota. Previously, Fargo and Bismarck both had active chapters. I. W. Cunningham, who was the national organizer of the Loyal Order of the Moose, was quoted in the newspaper as saying, "I am a U.C.T. because I believe in progress. The United Commercial Travelers is one of the most progressive fraternities on Earth today. If it had not announced its intention of going a step beyond any other social, fraternal, and commercial order, I would not be a member of it."