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1913 - Suffragettes March on Washington


Title: 1913 - Suffragettes March on Washington

About: The first large-scale, organized march on Washington for political purposes saw thousands of advocates for women's rights take to the streets of the capital.

The event was scheduled on the day before President Wilson’s inauguration to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded”. The march and the attention that it attracted were monumental in advancing women’s suffrage in the US. 

The parade included nine bands, four mounted brigades, 20 floats, and an allegorical performance near the Treasury Building. Leading the parade, wearing a crown and long white cape on top a white horse, was labor lawyer Inez Milholland.

The parade appeared to have a good start; however Pennsylvania Avenue soon became choked with thousands of mostly male spectators, who began to jostle and hurl insults at the parade members. With massive crowds, the parade could barely get past. Some women were tripped and assaulted while the police did little to stop it. One policeman even told some women that they should have stayed home where they belonged. Over one hundred marchers were hospitalized due to the injuries they received from the crowds.

The mistreatment of the marchers by the crowd and the police caused a great uproar. Alice Paul, a prominent suffragette, shaped the public response after the parade, portraying the incident as symbolic of systemic government mistreatment of women, stemming from their lack of a voice and political influence through the vote. She argued the incident showed that the government’s role in women’s lives had broken down, and that it was incapable of even providing women with physical safety.

Overall, the parade was a great success and a turning point in the suffrage movement. By overshadowing Wilson’s inauguration, the suffragettes had made it clear that they would not be ignored, and continued to campaign vociferously, although the right to vote was not granted until 1919. 

Decade: 1910s

Year: 1913

Region: North America

Country: USA

Politics: Protest

Society: Culture

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 10

Artist: Yulia Kozlova


Group: Genesis

Number: 13/100

Price: 1 ETH


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