National Activism

After ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, Sarah turned her energy towards other aspects of participatory government. Although finally granted the right to vote, a woman was still “denied the right to democracy despite the fact that through her enfranchisement she has assumed the obligations. The individual woman is still regarded under the law, as part being, part chattel.” Jury service was the first step, making a series of radio addresses and mobilizing the NWP in high profile trials to highlight the bias faced by a female defendant because women were banned from serving on the jury. Twice elected to the position of National Chairman (even the NWP used the traditional masculine form of the title) in 1936 and again in 1938, Sarah lobbied for ratification of Alice Paul’s Equal Rights Amendment to Presidents Coolidge and Hoover, and before a Senate Subcommittee on February 10, 1938. Sarah recognized that “[L]Liberty is not an achievement which has been lightly worn…Liberty is something, however, which can be lightly lost,” dedicating her life to its protection for all members of society.

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