Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt depicting a young boy watering his garden left me discouraged. That is because three years ago I shared my only story of a watering can and children tending their garden. But I did not worry long. After all, I have photos of rock walls.
Unfortunately, I have no story to go with them. They are just simple photos of my grandaunt Violetta Davis (later Ryan), a cousin I recognize, and men that I don’t.
While Violetta did not extend me the courtesy of labeling names or location, she did include the date on every single one of these photos: June 29, 1919. Amazing - just a couple weeks shy of 98 years ago that Violetta and her friends went wherever they went to do whatever they did.
It was a Sunday. What was going on in the world?
The Treaty of Versailles was signed the day before, bringing “the Great War” to an end. Big news day! Throughout the United States, newspaper headlines read much like the one in the New York Times.
In other cities, the peace treaty took second billing to news that the liquor ban would not be lifted.
In Leavenworth, Kansas, reports about the signing, the German outrage, and the liquor issue took equal billing along with stories about a drunk driver and about a prisoner who made a daring escape from the Leavenworth jail disguised as a soldier.
The forging of world peace was not the only headline-grabber that day. Still above the fold was the announcement of states voting to ratify the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. It would be another year before the required 2/3 majority of states ratifying was achieved.
Those were exciting times. And on that day, my grandaunt was just standing by a rock wall.
|Violetta (left) and possibly her cousin Leota Sullivan|
29 June 1919
Knowing my grandaunt Violetta the way that I did, I am positive no one was more excited about being able to vote than she was even though she was only 16 when the amendment was ratified. Violetta was a liberated woman long before women burned their bras. She preached the importance of girls getting an education and being able to make their way in the world without having to rely on a man for money.
|Violetta as a student 1922|
Harrisonburg Teachers College
Don’t just stand there. There is more to read above the fold at Sepia Saturday.
© 2017, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.