One hundred and four years ago today thousands of women and men gathered in Washington D.C. for the Woman Suffrage Procession–one day ahead of the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. The event was organized by an unrelenting hero of the suffrage movement, Alice Paul, who continued to fight for women’s rights her entire life going as far as being incarcerated for her civil disobedience and militant tactics.
The procession began as a calm and dignified demonstration but quickly devolved into madness as the marchers were confronted by crowds which were supposed to have been cleared by police. The crowds taunted and harassed the marchers, climbed onto floats, and threw eggs and other items. This led to over 200 marchers being treated for injuries. In spite of the chaos and disruption the marchers finished the planned procession. The story of the parades’ descent into disorder became nationwide news and helped the suffragists gain a greater acceptance of their cause. Additionally, many of the key participants that day went on to play integral roles in getting the 19th amendment ratified in 1921 granting women the right to vote in America.
Explore 11 primary source documents from various sources related to the Woman Suffrage Procession and get an eye opening look into the political and cultural environment of the time.
- The Official Record of the Senate Hearing to Investigate Police Conduct
- Official Program
- Inez Milholland Leading the Procession on a White Horse
- Detailed Description of the Parade Plans published in Women’s Journal
- Parade Disgrace “Unfortunate”
- Pledge to March in the Parade
- Mann’s Place to Be at Home
- Anti Wanted to Egg Suffragists
- 30,000 Women March in Monster Parade
- Parade Disgrace Shocks Senators
- Order of the March