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Jone Johnson Lewis

What a Difference a Century Makes!

By January 21, 2013

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Women Suffragists on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, March 3, 1913
Today, in President Barack Obama's second inaugural address, he mentioned Seneca Falls (along with Stonewall and Selma). How much change this is since the 1913 inauguration, which was the occasion of a major demonstration in favor of women's rights, to try to move then-President Wilson towards supporting the vote for women! At that march, the women marching were attacked by bystanders, and African American marchers were asked to go to the back of the march. What change in 100 years!

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Today's women at the inauguration:

Some excerpts from the 2013 Inaugural Address by President Barack H. Obama, referring to women's rights:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths - that all of us are created equal - is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
and:
For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
and recognizing the presence of women in the military, in a reference that would not have happened 100 years ago:
Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.

Image: Courtesy US Library of Congress

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