Newspaper clipping: Anti-Suffrage demonstration, 1917

In this newspaper clipping, a crowd of men tears apart a suffrage picketer’s banner. The caption questions the motives of the men who insist they are "patriots" even as they protest the women’s rights to free speech and electoral representation.
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. Crowds who believed the pickets’ activities were disloyal in a time of war attacked the suffragists and destroyed their banners.
Currently not on view
Object Name
newspaper clipping
associated institution
National Woman's Party
associated person
Paul, Alice
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
average spatial: 5 5/8 in x 4 in; 14.2875 cm x 10.16 cm
associated place
United States
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Government, Politics, and Reform
Equal Rights Amendment
Voting Rights
Women's Suffrage
Woman Suffrage
See more items in
Political History: Political History, Women's History Collection
Woman Suffrage
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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