Why Can't Mother Vote?: Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy

Why Can't Mother Vote?: Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy

Why Can't Mother Vote?: Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy

Why Can't Mother Vote?: Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy


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On August 18, 1920, thirty-year-old State Representative Joseph Hanover of Memphis walked through the grand lobby of The Hermitage Hotel to be greeted by deafening cheers and jeers from women wearing yellow or red roses. Yellow roses symbolized their support for the proposed Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote; red roses opposed it. Joe Hanover had become the nation's leading male voice in the fight for woman suffrage. The most powerful forces in Tennessee politics opposed him. But Joe Hanover was not going to back away from the fight. Joe Hanover and his family had immigrated from Poland 25 years earlier to escape the Czar of Russia's tyranny. Joe asked: "Why can't Mother vote?"

Pro-suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt summoned the freshman legislator to her suite in The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville on Aug. 8, 1920, to ask Joe Hanover to become the floor leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Hanover, a Jewish immigrant who won his election as an Independent, spoke passionately about his family's flight from oppression in Poland. He said he was a true conservative who believed deeply in the Bill of Rights and that the rights set forth therein should be afforded to all Americans. For this, he was threatened in phone calls and physically assaulted in a hotel elevator. Governor A.H. Roberts assigned Hanover a bodyguard. But Hanover was determined. He held together the pro-suffrage faction votes for woman suffrage when Tennessee became the Perfect 36, the last state that could possibly ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. Hanover, Banks Turner of Yorkville and Harry Burn of Niota were the votes in the end that made the difference.

"Why Can't Mother Vote: Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy" is a stirring account of the people who led the fight in Tennessee's pivotal vote to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733362634
Publisher: Hillhelen Group LLC
Publication date: 12/16/2019
Pages: 140
Sales rank: 448,261
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Bill Haltom is a father, husband, lawyer and award-winning writer. He is the author of eight books and has been a newspaper and magazine humor columnist for over 25 years. He has served as chair of the editorial boards for four magazines, including the ABA Journal, the flagship publication of the American Bar Association. A popular speaker, Bill has delivered commencement addresses and has been the featured speaker at conventions, banquets and leadership seminars. Bill lives in Memphis with his wife (Judge Claudia), his daughter (Princess Margaret) and his two beagles (Atticus and Scout).

Senior Partner, HillHelen Group Publishing Co.; editor, award-winning journalist; former English teacher; graduate, Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy 2010-2011; Sterling Awards: 20 Most Influential Women in West Tennessee 2014.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Lobby of the Hermitage Hotel, August 18, 1920

1. A Frozen Lake in Poland

2. A New Life . . . in Memphis and Binghampton

3. Why Can't Mother Vote?

4. A Calling to Law

5. The Election of an Independent

6.The Fight for Partial Suffrage

7. Removal and Re-election

8. A Summons from Mrs. Catt

9. The Battle of the Women of Faith

10. "You're a Pretty Cheap Vote--They Are Paying Others a Thousand!"

11. "A White Man's Country!"

12. "The Hour Has Come!"

13. False Affidavits and the Red Rose Brigade Heads for Alabama

14. Signed, Sealed and Delivered

15. Election Day 1920 ... and Beyond

Epilogue. Joe Hanover Returns to Memphis

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