Fragment of “Kaiser Wilson” Suffrage Banner

Description
Alice Paul saved this fragment of one of the most controversial banners used by the National Woman’s Party in picketing the White House. The note on the fragment reads, "'Kaiser’ Wilson Banner East Gate White House Monday, Aug. 13, 1917".
In January 1917, discouraged by President Wilson’s continued opposition to the suffrage amendment, Alice Paul, the leader of the National Woman’s Party (NWP) posted pickets at the White House gates—the first people to ever picket the White House. These "silent sentinels" stayed on duty in all weather and in the face of threats, taunts, and physical violence. Using their banners and their quiet courage they asked, "Mr. President How Long Must Women Wait for their Liberty?" and "Mr. President What Will you do for Woman Suffrage?" Hoping to provoke a response, the language on the banners became more inflammatory. They used the president’s own words against him and pointed out the hypocrisy of his leading the country into the First World War to defend freedom while denying it to the women of his own country. This fragment is from a banner that read, "Kaiser Wilson Have You Forgotten Your Sympathy With the Poor Germans Because They Were Not Self-Governed? 20,000,000 American Women Are Not Self-Governed. Take the Beam Out of Your Own Eye." Crowds that believed the pickets’ activities were disloyal in a time of war attacked the suffragists and destroyed their banners but the picketing continued.
Location
Currently not on view
associated date
1917
associated institution
National Woman's Party
commemorated
Wilson, Woodrow
associated person
Paul, Alice
Physical Description
fabric (overall material)
ink (overall material)
glass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements
average spatial: 7 in x 9 in; 17.78 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
1987.0165.113.1
catalog number
1987.0165.113.1
accession number
1987.0165
subject
Women's Rights
Women's Suffrage
Equal Rights Amendment
Voting Rights
See more items in
Political History: Political History, Women's History Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Woman Suffrage
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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