June 17, 2005 -- From conservative Alice Robertson, the second women to be elected to the United States Senate, to Socialist Anna Laskey, one of the first women to be elected to the Oklahoma House of Representative, to Democrat activist Myrtle McDougal, Who’s Rocking the Cradle? provides a wealth of information about numerous Oklahoma women who became politically active before and after the passage of Woman suffrage in 1920. Anyone trying to find information on their grandmothers’ and great grandmothers’ activities will find this book constructive in recreating the past.
Who’s Rocking the Cradle? begins on the left with the activities of Oklahoma women, who organized and promoted the Socialist party to Oklahoma farmers during the economic uncertainty of frontier settlement. But, after the Oklahoma Socialist party started to wane in 1916, and after passage of women's suffrage in the state in 1918, Oklahoma women, more ideologically centered, became involved in politics to educate Oklahomans, especially women, to the responsibilities of citizenship and the meaning of good government.
As the country turned more to the right after the First World War, so too women's political culture. By the mid-1920s, many Oklahoma women joined such ultra conservative organizations as the Ku Klux Klan to fight against what they perceived as erosion in values of traditional America.
As an example of the information found in Who’s Rocking the Cradle? consider the following:
“In 1920, Mrs. Lamar Looney of Hollis Oklahoma was the first women to be elected to the Oklahoma senate. Looney’s husband died in 1900, leaving her alone with six children to raise. She taught music to make ends meet but then took up homesteading. With the help of neighbors, Looney built a dugout, using logs from the Red River to cut handmade shingles. She left her farm and moved into Hollis in 1902 in order to provide an education
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for her children. She supported her family by opening a real estate office, selling insurance, and clerking in various stores in Hollis. In 1912 she was one of six candidates running for the office of Registrar of Deeds for Harmon County. She won that office and voters next elected her to the office of Country Treasurer, an office she held from 1917 until 1921. Looney was also chairman of the Women’s Suffrage Association for Harmon County. “
Who’s Rocking The Cradle? Pioneer Women of Oklahoma Politics from Socialism to the KKK, 1900-1930. Suzanne H. Schrems, Ph.D. ISBN 0-972221727, 15.95, Available from Horse Creek Publications. Ingram, National Book Network(Biblio), Quality Books and Amazon.com.
Contact: Sue Schrems, e-mail protected from spam bots or 405-364-9647.