Seasoned Reporter Pens Novel on 100-Year Old Sabotage
Frank “Boss” Hague at Center of Controversy, Again!
By Sally Deering
Some reporters seem to have ink in their veins; just the hint of a good tale propels them to find the facts, pinpoint the characters and put it in print.
That seems to be the case with Ron Semple, a 5th Generation Jersey Cityite who walked the Jersey City beat for the Hudson Dispatch and Jersey Journal in the 1950s and 60s, Semple wrote news and features and at 27 became the Jersey Journal’s City Editor with a crew of 50 reporters he could send out on a moment’s notice to get a story. More than 50 years later, Semple finds himself once again writing copy about his hometown.
In BLACK TOM, Terror on the Hudson (Top-Hat Books, 516 pgs.; $27.95) Semple turns back the calendar to 1916 when German saboteurs destroyed a large railroad munitions depot (Black Tom) on the Jersey City waterfront. The explosion killed and injured several night watchmen and caused extensive property damage costing millions of dollars.
With about 8 months to go until the presidential election, the raging rhetoric and political pontification threatens to leave potential voters tone-deaf, disgusted, and dubious that their vote matters. That being said, it will do us all good to remember the struggle of one group of Americans desperate to have that right to vote: the ladies of the women’s suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Suffrage Leader Alice Paul
As early as the 1850s, with the cry “Votes for Women,” suffragettes banded together in pursuit of a place at the ballot box, led by movement pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Success remained elusive and as the quest for universal suffrage struggled on at the dawn of the
In the second decade of the 1900s, one Hudson newspaper carried a column titled “Woman’s Suffrage Forum,” a regular feature that included information on local women’s suffrage lectures, events, news and campaigns and also reported national progress as individual states voted for (or against) extending the right to vote to female residents. In 1915, New Jersey suffrage supporters succeeded in getting the question on a statewide referendum to be voted on in October of that year. In August, as the election drew near and a woman’s right to vote in New Jersey lay in the hands of the men of our state, the pages of local papers carried news of the upcoming arrival of the “suffrage torch” in Jersey City. The torch, symbolically unlit to represent the enlightenment that would come from granting we Jersey girls the right to vote, was to travel throughout the state to raise awareness and popular support for the upcoming suffrage amendment vote. The torch’s travels across the Garden State were to be accompanied by celebrations and ceremonies attended by politicians, prominent citizens and the leaders and members of the Women’s Political Union (WPU). Continue reading Hudson Then . . . Again – Women’s Suffrage Movement 19th and Early 20th Century→
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