knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered
a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating,
choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?As a junior high student in the late 1970's, when Desoto, Texas was a close minded, tiny, backwards little country town that thought itself a big city, an enlightened history teacher turned one class over to me to talk to my classmates about the struggles of women just to have basic rights. All these years later, exercising the right to vote is still one of my passions. Women (and thinkers of both genders) we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.