But that day the flamingos weren’t there, not even one. My mother took lots of cool pictures of blue herons, white pelicans, cormorants, and even a pair of roseate spoonbills.
by Carl Hiaasen
Alfred A. Knopf, 2018
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, before the horrible, tragic, senseless Valentine’s Day Massacre that took place at a school named for her, was mostly known for almost single-handedly saving the Everglades from wanton destruction by developers, agriculturists, new settlers, and tourists. But besides her environmental activism, she was a social reformer and a suffragist. She reached many people through her column in the Miami Herald called “The Galley.” She worked there from 1920 to 1923. Here’s what she had to say about women getting the vote.
If—For the Women Voters
If you can keep your vote when all about you
Are throwing theirs away on this and that;
If you can think with politics about you,
Of major issues that are plain and flat;
If you can see your way through horrid speeches
And never lose your head on flowery ways--
Then you can vote as well as who wear breeches.
And you can vote so that the voting pays.
If you can walk through clouds that shout in passion,
And never leave your reasoning behind;
If you can think, when feeling is the fashion,
And never trust to luck or go it blind;
If you can keep the welfare of the nation
Above the gain or glory of a few--
You’ll make the ballot yet a decoration
Worthy a voter, and a woman, too.
That was her column on August 20, 1920. No introduction, no explanation, no fuss. Her advise to women who would be voting for the first time in less than three months: pay attention to the issues of the day, stay focused on reason, and “keep the welfare of the nation above the gain or glory of a few.”
The nineteenth amendment giving women the right to vote passed two days earlier, on August 18, 1920, in time for the Presidential Election in November. Warren G. Harding defeated James M. Cox in a landslide.
-—stay curious (and informed!)