Women’s Movement pendant

Women’s Movement pendant

This pendant designed by Shirley Aidekman is a modern copy of the original “Jailed for Freedom” pins. It both reminds of and honors the sacrifice the original pin recipients made in the name of woman’s suffrage and equality.
In January 1917, members of the National Woman's Party (NWP) became the first people to picket 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 the 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. In December, 1917, at a meeting in their honor, the pickets who had been jailed were presented with small silver pins in the shape of prison doors with heart-shaped locks.
Currently not on view
Object Name
associated institution
National Woman's Party
Physical Description
silver, sterling (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/2 in; 5.08 cm x 3.81 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Shirley Aidekman
Women's Suffrage
Women's Rights
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Woman Suffrage
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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