Margery Bedinger campaigning for women's right to vote

Well, today is Women’s Equality Day, designated in 1971 to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which finally granted women the right to vote after a long struggle for suffrage. 

I’m certain that there was more than one fierce advocate of votes for women in progressive Salem, but Margery Bedinger of Forrester Street committed at a crucial time, and went on to lead a very interesting and independent life.

She matriculated at Smith College first, but graduated from Radcliffe in 1913. In 1914 and 1915, she was one of many members of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association campaigning actively in support of a state referendum to give women the right to vote.

The suffragists and their supporters walked, ran, trolleyed, biked and drove all around the Commonwealth, distributing their colorful materials and holding open-air forums, and capped off their campaign with of parade of 9000 supporters (including Helen Keller) on October 16. Despite their efforts, the referendum failed, and Massachusetts women did not gain the vote in until the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920.

Read the full story at A Salem Suffragette | streetsofsalem.

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