President Woodrow Wilson won reelection in 1916 in part because he wanted to keep the US out of the war in Europe. Then on Feb. 3, 1917 President Wilson went before Congress to announce that the US was breaking relations with Germany. Congress would declare war on Germany on April 6th.
New York State voted against giving women the vote in 1916. Another referendum would come up in November 1917 and this time it passed by a substantial margin.
The US and the world were changing in 1917.
THE HONEOYE FALLS TIMES
Thursday, Feb. 15, 1917
Governor Whitman Addresses State Suffrage Delegation.
In accepting the offer of national service made by the New York State Woman Suffrage party, Governor Charles S. Whitman spoke to the suffrage delegation in the executive chamber at Albany as follows:
“I am sure that your presence here, representing, as you do, a great body of the women of this State and nation, is prompted solely by a desire to render service that I think you are abundantly able to render, and by a desire to show your patriotism. I am more than glad to see you. Of course, I know you share the hope with me that an emergency which will require such service shall not arise. If it does, there will be no more valuable aid rendered than that which would be rendered by the loyal and patriotic women of the United Sates.”
Able to Render Effective Aid.
In commenting on the action of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party relative to the offer of service in the present war crisis, Mrs. Norman de R. Whitehouse, the state chairman, is quoted as follows:
“Our action is taken with the feeling that, being organized in every assembly district of New York State, we are in a position to render effective service to the State of New York and to our Nation in this time of need.>
In this State we are in a position to muster an organization composed of 5,000 officers and a half million women with offices in every one of the 150 assembly districts of the Empire Sate.”
Women of New York State.
In view of the present national crisis, it is interesting to note the important part the women of New York Stat are already taking in the industrial world. Any tabulation of our resources would of necessity include these industrious workers, In all, according to the 1910 census, there are 3,210,714 women over 15 years of age. Of these women only 1,793,558 are married and 1,498, 156 are unmarried or widowed. A large part of these 1,498,156 have to work in order to live, and many of them have children, or fathers and mothers, or sisters and brothers to support.