Sunday, April 2, 2017

Womens' Suffrage Marches

Because this is the most conspicuous and important demonstration that has ever been attempted by suffragists in this country.
Because this parade will be taken to indicate the importance of the suffrage movement by the press of the country and the thousands of spectators from all over the United States gathered in Washington for the Inauguration.
So said the broadsheets handed out and so they gathered. There were three notable marches recorded for posterity - the first in Washington, the next two in New York.

Suffrage Parade - 6th May 1912 - New York City
It was a bold tactic, adopted by suffragists and the more militant suffragettes shortly after the turn of the century. Although some women chose to quit the movement rather than march in public, others embraced the parade as a way of publicizing their cause and combating the idea that women should be relegated to the home. (Source: World Digital Library)

Suffrage Parade - 3rd March 1913 - Washington.
In 1913, the first major national efforts were undertaken, beginning with a massive parade in Washington, D.C., on March 3 -- one day before the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Organized by Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the parade, calling for a constitutional amendment, featured 8,000 marchers, including nine bands, four mounted brigades, 20 floats, and an allegorical performance near the Treasury Building. (Source: The Atlantic - March 1st, 2013)

Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession. Then came the “Pioneers” who had been struggling for so many decades to secure women's right to vote. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wearing appropriate garb—nurses in uniform, women farmers, homemakers, women doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians, college women in academic gowns. Harriet Hifton of the Library of Congress Copyright Division led the librarians' contingent. The state delegations followed, and finally the separate section for male supporters of women's suffrage. All had come from around the country to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.” (Source: Library of Congress - Official Program: Woman Suffrage Procession).

Read more here:
- The Atlantic
- Library of Congress
- Women of History - Suffrage March of 1913
- Smithsonian - Original Women's March
- Activist New York

Suffrage March - 23rd October 2015 - New York
On October 23, 1915, over 25,000 women marched up Fifth Avenue in New York City to advocate for women’s suffrage. At that point, the fight had been ongoing for more than 65 years, with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 first passing a resolution in favor of women’s suffrage. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t find success for another five years. New York’s 1915 suffrage parade was the largest held in the city until that time. (Source: Behind the Scenes: New York History)

Read more here at:
- The Bowery Boys: New York City History
- The Feminist Majority Foundation

Suffrage March - October 1917 - New York
This NY Times article covers the Fifth Avenue Parade in 1917. Many leaders from various groups, including NAWSA, were a part of this event that used the fighting for democracy in World War I to help promote their cause for fighting for democracy at home. This parade, filled with patriotism for our troops, also used President Wilson’s suffrage endorsement to support their cause. While women, like Carrie Chapman Catt, walked in the parade, NWP members were in the crowd passing out their newspapers and encouraging the protest of the war time President. (Source: New York Times)

Read more here at:
- Women's Suffrage in the United States (wikipedia)
- New York Times: 1917 - When Women Won Right ToVote
- Yates County History Centre
- Night of Terror
- Timeline of Women's Suffrage in United States (wikipedia)
- National Archives - Women's Suffrage Party Petition
- New York Rediscovered
- Digital Documents - Women's Suffrage

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