Photograph: Suffrage Procession, 1917

Description:

This photograph shows picketers marching from the National Women’s Party headquarters to their posts in front of the White House.

In January 1917, members of the National Woman's Party (NWP) became the first people to picket the White House. This photograph shows picketers marching from the National Women’s Party headquarters to their posts in front of the White House. Protesting the government's failure to pass a constitutional amendment enfranchising women, NWP members, led by Alice Paul, began picketing the White House. Their purple, white, and gold banners asked President Woodrow Wilson, "Mr. President what will you do for woman suffrage?" and "Mr. President how long must women wait for liberty?" Tolerated at first, the "silent sentinels" were increasingly seen as an embarrassment to the administration. As the United States entered the First World War, the NWP pickets' banners often pointed out the hypocrisy of fighting for democracy and freedom in Europe while denying it to women at home. In June 1917, the D.C. police began arresting picketers for obstructing sidewalk traffic. 90 women were sentenced to terms ranging from 60 days to six months in the Occoquan Workhouse. When their demands to be treated as political prisoners were ignored, they went on hunger strikes and were forcibly fed. The publicity surrounding their ordeal generated public sympathy for the suffragists and their cause.

Associated Institution: National Woman's Party

Location: Currently not on view

General Subject Association: Women's SuffrageEqual Rights AmendmentVoting RightsMarch, Rally, Demonstration, or OtherWomen's History

Subject:

See more items in: Political and Military History: Political History, Women's History Collection, Government, Politics, and Reform, Woman Suffrage

Exhibition:

Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1991.3016.065Catalog Number: 1991.3016.065Nonaccession Number: 1991.3016

Object Name: photograph

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: average spatial: 5 in x 7 in; 12.7 cm x 17.78 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-71f3-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1102677

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