In the November 1911 election women cast their ballots for the first time in San Diego’s history. The result was a municipal pier built at the foot of Broadway. The Equal Suffrage Association and Dr. Charlotte Baker, then fifty-five, didn’t go out of business. They worked years longer to make equal voting rights for women a national reality, with passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Along with the vote women demanded fair representation on school boards, on juries and in government. They got at least some of what they wanted. The women below were San Diego jurors in 1916, two years after women had finally been called to serve the courts. And they were tough. Led by their forewoman, Dr. Rosemond Dailey (bottom row, far right), this all woman jury convicted four male criminals in the near record time of three hours.
Some San Diego women (right) were marching to an ancient and more basic drummer. This group posed in the city jail after police raided the town’s many bawdy houses and hauled them in. At day break, 138 prostitutes were trouped to the Santa Fe Station and shipped to Los Angeles. Rumor was that many bought round trip tickets. Note the bibles on the table. The redlight district where these girls worked about 1910 was called “The Stingaree” and was bounded by First, Sixth, Market Streets and the bay. It was—and still is in a fashion—the city’s “tenderloin.”