A pandemic nearly derailed the women's suffrage movement
Women overcame influenza, social distancing, and political bias to win the right to vote.
“These are sad times for the whole world, grown unexpectedly sadder by the sudden and sweeping epidemic of influenza,” wrote Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, in a letter to supporters in 1918.
“This new affliction is bringing sorrow into many suffrage homes and is presenting a serious new obstacle in our Referendum campaigns and in the Congressional and Senatorial campaigns,” she continued. “We must therefore be prepared for failure.”
Then the Spanish flu struck, and the leaders of one of the longest-running political movements in the country’s history had to figure out how to continue their campaign in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in modern times. (See how some cities 'flattened