Four of the League of Women Voters with Superintendent Huyett. Photo: Lance Knobel

On Wednesday evening, the school board honored the centennial of women winning the right to vote in California. Berkeley was the only large city in the Bay Area to pass the suffrage amendment in 1911. Across the state, the amendment won by the narrow margin of 125,037 to 121,450, with late returns from rural districts turning defeat into victory.

Superintendent Bill Huyett noted that he had only recently learned that Frances Willard, the namesake of one of Berkeley’s middle schools, had been instrumental in the suffrage movement (and in the prohibition movement: her name came up in Prohibition, the recently released documentary by Ken Burns).

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...