ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
86°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 86° L 76°
  • clear-day
    86°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 86° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    83°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 86° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    77°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 91° L 77°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race 
Close

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race 

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race 

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race 

With June 4, 2019 marking the 100th anniversary of the approval by Congress of a constitutional change which guaranteed women the ability to vote in the United States, a look back at the final debates in the House and Senate showcased dire predictions that giving women the franchise would bring a rush to socialism in American and spur racial problems in the South.

"It will not only add to the growth of socialism, but will likewise contribute to the upbuilding of femininism and Bolshevism in America," thundered Rep. Frank Clark, a Florida Democrat who bitterly opposed the women's suffrage amendment.

"Every Socialist and every Bolshevist throughout the land wherever you find him is an ardent advocate of woman suffrage, and he wants it by Federal amendment," Clark said on the House floor, as he also warned the change would stir racial troubles in the South. 

Close

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race

"Make this amendment a part of the Federal Constitution and the negro women of the Southern States, under the tutelage of the fast-growing socialistic element of our common country, will become fanatical on the subject of voting and will reawaken in the negro men an intense and not easily quenched desire to again become a political factor," said Clark, who led opposition to the constitutional change.

While Clark's arguments did not sway the debate, there were clear sectional differences, as the House voted 304-90 in favor of the proposed constitutional change to allow women to vote.

As debate concluded in the House on May 21, 1919, supporters said it was simply time for women to be allowed to vote in every state of the Union.

"I want to congratulate the good women who fought the good fight all these years, and who now see the dawn of the day of final victory," said Rep. Frank Mondell, the House Republican Leader from Wyoming, a state which allowed women to vote when it was still a territory.

"When I came here the voice of the suffragist was like that of John the Baptist crying in the wilderness," said former House Speaker "Champ" Clark, a Democrat from Missouri.

"I think my wife and my daughter are as capable of voting as most men in this country are," the Democratic Leader said to applause.

But for others, what would ultimately become the 19th Amendment - referred to in debate as the 'Susan B. Anthony Amendment' - was not something to celebrate, as many southern lawmakers eyed the effort with derision and suspicion, with the Civil War, Reconstruction, and states' rights bubbling in the political background.

"Is suffrage such a question as should be snatched from the control of the States and lodged in a rapidly centralizing government?" asked Rep. Eugene Black, a Democrat from Texas, as a number of lawmakers in both parties said the individual states should decide who votes, and who does not.

"Under the fifteenth amendment, not only the negro, for whom it was adopted, but the sons of every other race under the sun may vote in any State in the Union, provided they or their ancestors have once been naturalized," argued Rep. Rufus Hardy, a Democrat from Texas.

"What evils may yet come of the fifteenth amendment only the future may unfold," Hardy said, as he drew applause in advocating states' rights, and denouncing federal decisions about who could vote.

"It is a privilege to be granted or withheld at the pleasure of the States," said Rep. Clark of Florida.

But some urged southern lawmakers to reconsider, asking the 'gentlemen of Dixie' to give their mothers a chance to vote for them.

Several weeks later, as the Senate vote on the 19th amendment approached in early June, the debate became more testy - more focused on race - and the right of states to determine who can vote.

"When it says that there shall be no restriction of the suffrage on account of sex, it means the female sex, and means the millions upon millions of Negro women in the South," said Sen. Ellison Smith, a Democrat from South Carolina.

The argument from southern Senators was simple - the states should decide who votes, not the federal government.  It was a preview of the battles to come during the Civil Rights era.

"Mr. President, it is not a question today as to whether the women of American should have the right to vote," said Sen. Oscar Underwood, a Democrat from Alabama.  “It is a question of whether, in the end, our Government shall live.”

Close

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race

Supporters of the amendment openly acknowledged that black women in the South probably would not be allowed to vote by southern states - precisely in the same way that hurdles had been placed in the way of black Americans voting in the states of the former Confederacy - a charge that left southern Senators like Smith aggravated.

"I have heard it flippantly remarked by those who propose to vote for this amendment, 'You found a way to keep the Negro man from voting and you will find away to keep the unworthy Negro woman from voting," Smith said on the Senate floor, as he denounced how the South had been "deluged by an alien and unfit race."

“You went specifically after the Negro men in the fifteenth amendment,” Smith said in Senate debate.  “Now you go specifically after the Negro and white women in this amendment.”

Close

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race

On the floor, Smith and other opponents of the amendment pushed back hard on the race question, as Senators sparred over old wounds and scars left by the Fifteenth Amendment and Reconstruction.

"Those of us from the South, where the preponderance of the Negro vote jeopardized our civilization, have maintained that the fifteenth amendment was a crime against our civilization," Smith said.

"The Senator knows full well that the fifteenth amendment embodied the color question," said Sen. Irvine Lenroot, a Republican from Wisconsin, 'the Senator knows just as well that there is no color question at all embodied in this amendment. It relates only to sex."

"The discussion here upon the floor yesterday makes it perfectly apparent that in part at least, in a certain section of this country, this proposed amendment will be a dead letter," acknowledged Sen. James Wadsworth, a Republican from New York.

Wadsworth and others were proven correct, as it took many years for black Americans to get around the poll tax and other means of stopping them from voting.

“Oh, the white man votes because you are careful to apply tests which do not apply to the white man," Senator William Borah, a Republican of Idaho, said to Senators from the South. "You pick out those tests which exclude the Negro and write them into your law, and that excludes the Negro."

In an exchange with Senator John Williams, a Mississippi Democrat, Borah said, “the Negro does not vote (in the South) because he is black. That is the only crime which he has committed.”

Close

Giving women the vote 100 years ago - amid fears of socialism and race

Just before the final vote in the Senate, Democrat Edward Gay of Louisiana rose on the Senate floor, making one last call to allow the states to have the final say on whether women should vote.

"I predict that there are 13 States that will never ratify the amendment which the Congress of the United State is about to present to the American people," Gay said.

Gay was wrong, as the amendment was ratified 14 months later in August of 1920.

But it took years for many southern states to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution:

+ Virginia - February 21, 1952

+ Alabama - September 8, 1953

+ Florida - May 13, 1969

+ South Carolina - July 1, 1969

+ Georgia - February 20, 1970

+ Louisiana - June 11, 1970

+ North Carolina - May 6, 1971

+ Mississippi - March 22, 1984

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Police arrested a 33-year-old man Monday on suspicion of intentionally driving into pedestrians in Jefferson City, injuring a 61-year-old man and killing a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old son, according to investigators. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said William David Phillips, of Jefferson City, swerved to intentionally hit Tillman Gunter, 61, while driving west on East Main Street on Monday afternoon. Police said Phillips traveled less than a mile before swerving again, striking Sierra Wilson Cahoon, 30, and her 2-year-old son, Nolan Cahoon. Cahoon, Nolan and Cahoon’s unborn child were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to investigators. Gunter was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. Authorities were called around 3:30 p.m. Monday after Phillips lodged the car he was driving into a building for Sustainable Aquatics, a fish hatchery, according to The Citizen Tribune and the Knoxville News Sentinel. Witness Bill Ray Jones told WBIR-TV he heard Phillips yelling that the “government told him to do it” as he tried to flee from the scene of the crash. 'He knew he had hit (Cahoon) and I'm sure he did because he was talking all crazy,' he told the news station. Sustainable Aquatics owner John Carberry told the News Sentinel he arrived at the scene of the crash within minutes Monday and found Cahoon and her son dead on the sidewalk. “There was a hole in the building and one of my employees ran out,” Carberry told the News Sentinel. “She had minor injuries. She ran up to the main building, and the perpetrator ran out of the hole and ran up and some local citizens grabbed him.” The crash ruptured several fish tanks and destroyed four fish systems, Carberry told The Citizen Tribune and the News Sentinel. He estimated about 2,000 wild-caught fish died after the crash caused more than 10,000 gallons of water to rush from the tanks. “I just want to let the police do their job and mourn the passing of this mother and child,” Carberry told The Citizen Tribune. “It’s very sad.” Phillips, of Jefferson City, was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. Authorities filed an additional murder charge against Phillips on Wednesday for the death of Cahoon's unborn child, WATE reported. In a news release, police said investigators believed 'this was an intentional act of violence toward randomly chosen pedestrians. “Investigators have determined that Phillips did not know the victims,” police said. In an arrest warrant obtained Wednesday by the News Sentinel, authorities said Phillips told investigators “a voice told him that he needed to go kill meth addicts.” After Phillips spotted Cahoon and her son, 'He said the voice told him that the baby stroller had meth in it so he intentionally drove into (the mother and child) ... killing them both,' the warrant said, according to the News Sentinel. Records from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department showed he remained jailed Wednesday. A spokesperson for Carson-Newman University, a Christian university in Jefferson City, told WBIR-TV that Cahoon and Nolan were the wife and son of Matt Cahoon, an assistant athletic trainer at the school. “Our hearts are breaking for one of our own,” Carson-Newman University interim President Paul Percy said Tuesday in a statement. “We take comfort in knowing that God also feels our pain and hears our prayers. Because of this, we ask for prayers for Matt and his family now and in the days ahead.” Officials at First Steps Preschool at the First United Methodist Church told WBIR-TV Nolan was a happy student who always gave out hugs and high-fives. 'He was a joy,' the preschool’s director, Jessica Lawson, told WBIR-TV. 'He would walk through the door smiling every morning.' Officials at Carson-Newman University started a fund to benefit the Cahoon family. Those wishing to contribute can donate online to The Randall and Kay O’Brien Benevolent Fund on the university’s website.
  • A man who stabbed a New York City man early Tuesday also partially severed his own finger during the attack, police said. >> Read more trending news  The 35-year-old victim, who was repeatedly stabbed, lived in the Bronx, WPIX reported. According to police, the attacker and victim were arguing outside a bar at 1:15 a.m. when the stabbing occurred. The victim was stabbed in the back, while the attacker partially cut a finger on his left hand, WPIX reported. The assailant then ran away, police said. Police said the attacker appeared to be in his mid- to late 20s, the television station reported. The man had a beard and tattoos on his right forearm and upper right arm, WPIX reported. Police said the man was last seen wearing a red baseball cap, white T-shirt and dark colored shorts, the television station reported.
  • A mentally ill Oregon woman suffered life-threatening injuries Monday when she apparently climbed into a garbage chute at her boyfriend’s condominium community and plunged 16 stories to the bottom. The Oregonian reported that the woman, who was not publicly identified, suffered head injuries in her fall from the 16th floor of the Civic, a condo building in Portland’s Pearl District.  Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Rich Chatman told the newspaper the woman, who is in her late 20s, slid down into the garbage collection area, where firefighters found her unconscious. Police declined to file charges against the woman. “I can say there was a mental health component involved,” Chatman told the paper.  On Tuesday, Chatman said it appeared the woman put herself in the chute.  “The prevailing assumption is that she got into the chute on her own will,” he said.  Steven Lofton, who lives on the 16th floor of the Civic, told a reporter that the woman and her boyfriend are known on their floor for getting into fights, both verbal and physical. Neighbors had voiced their concerns to the building’s management. >> Read more trending news Lofton said he heard someone pounding on his door just after lunchtime Monday and went to the door to find the woman, who told him she was afraid. When he opened his door, she rushed in, screaming, and began trashing his condo, he told the paper.  “She was wild, just absolutely wild,” Lofton said. “She was breaking and throwing everything in her sight. Plates, vases, cutlery. You name it.” The woman ran out into the hallway, where she encountered her boyfriend. They got into a physical confrontation, Lofton said.  Lofton said he closed his door and called 911. The woman went down the garbage chute moments later, The Oregonian said.  A Portland police spokeswoman told the paper Tuesday that a domestic violence investigation is ongoing, though detectives are waiting for the woman’s condition to improve. “The involved woman’s medical situation is of a higher priority than the criminal investigation at this time,” Jones said in an email to the newspaper.  
  • Meet Poncho Via - the newest holder of a Guinness World Record with a sensational set of 10 foot-7.4 inches horns from tip to tip. The 7-year-old steer makes his home in Goodwater, Alabama and has been living with his family, the Pope’s, since he was six-months old. The family said they knew Poncho was something special when his horns began to grow out to the sides inside of curving up, like other longhorns’ do. Poncho is very popular around town too, with his ‘dad’ saying of him, 'All my neighbors (around) here, any time they have company, they come over to see the longhorn. He's just a big, gentle character. Everyone brings (food) with them -- he likes apples, carrots and marshmallows.' Mobile user see tweet here. His humongous horns aren’t all glitz and show, though. They’ve gotten him into trouble a time or two. George Jones, a family member who helps out with Poncho on the ranch, tells the story, “He pulled a water bottle right out my pocket with his tongue. He's there playing with the bottle and I reached and scratched him for a bit.'  The caretaker said he was knocked into a pond once, when the longhorn became spooked by something. 'That went on for a little while and I guess a horsefly got on him or something (because), all of a sudden, he turned that head and I went airborne into the pond. He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water,' Jones said. The former record holder, a Texas longhorn named Sato, had a horn spread of 10 feet, 6.3 inches, when measured in September, according to Guinness World Records. As the tweet below mentions, Poncho’s horns measures more than twice the width of a concert grand piano. Mobile user see tweet here.
  • An independent investigator for the United Nations says there is 'credible evidence' warranting a probe into Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's possible involvement in the 2018 slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.  >> Read more trending news  According to The Associated Press, U.N. special rapporteur Agnes Callamard said in a 101-page report that 'a proper authority' should consider whether the crown prince or senior adviser Saud Alqahtani bore 'criminal responsibility' in the death. 'Mr. Khashoggi's killing constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible,' the report said.  Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi regime, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Saudi officials later blamed the death on 'rogue operators,' CNN reported. Eleven people – five of whom could receive the death penalty – are being tried in Saudi Arabia in connection with the slaying. The report said Callamard made 'no conclusion' as to whether the crown prince or Alqahtani are guilty but determined that Khashoggi's execution was 'deliberate' and 'premeditated,' news outlets reported. The report also named 15 suspects in the incident, during which Khashoggi was drugged, suffocated and dismembered, CNN reported. Read more here or here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • After weeks of negotiations over a White House request for extra money to deal with a surge of illegal immigrants along the southern border with Mexico, Senators on a key spending panel voted 30-1 on Wednesday to approve a $4.59 billion spending package to insure that various federal agencies have enough money to address what President Donald Trump has said is a crisis at the border. 'This situation as most of us realize is past the breaking point,' said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). 'I believe we must act.' 'The fact is that we do have a humanitarian crisis on the border that does need to be addressed,' said Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who recounted crowded holding facilities for illegal immigrants. 'We've seen big numbers in the past, but we're going to exceed that this year,' said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). 'This bill is absolutely necessary,' said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). 'There are families and children who need our support.' The only 'no' vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee came from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The bill only deals with money to help address the humanitarian needs along the border - it does not address any changes in U.S. immigration laws desired by President Trump. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee had been scheduled to start work on a bill which would make some of those immigration reforms, but that work will be delayed into July in search of a bipartisan agreement. “This is not a crisis - this is a disaster,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is leading President Trump's charge to change immigration laws. 'Our immigration laws are a disgrace and the Democrats can get together with the Republicans and solve the problem quickly,' the President told his campaign kickoff rally on Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida. It's expected the full Senate could vote on the package next week. It is not clear if the House would follow suit before lawmakers leave town at the end of June for a break during the week of July Fourth.