Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - Building the Base

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns work hard to build their Congressional Committee which will advocate for women's rights. They also have a plan to draw national attention to the lack of a woman's right to vote. 

Washington, D.C. is the perfect place to be, since their ultimate goal is to convince members of Congress to propose a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote.

In 1913, however, that goal seems a distant dream. Notwithstanding all the obstacles, the women are willing to keep their focus and work hard to achieve it.

major event is set to take place—in Washington, D.C.—on March 4, 1913. That's the day Woodrow Wilson will be sworn-in as America's 28th President. Why not have a Women's Freedom Parade on the day before Wilson has his inaugural parade?

The Library of Congress tells us how funding for the Women's March came about:

Undaunted, Alice Paul convened the first meeting of her new committee on January 2, 1913, in the newly rented basement headquarters at 1420 F Street, NW.  She started raising funds; according to one friend, “it was very difficult to refuse Alice Paul.”  She and the others she recruited worked nonstop for two months.

By March 3 this fledgling committee had organized and found the money for a major suffrage parade with floats, banners, speakers, and a twenty-page official program. The total cost of the event was $14,906.08, a princely sum in 1913, when the average annual wage was $621.20.  The programs and tableau each cost more than $1,000.

Women, from all over the country, travel to Washington during March of 1913.  Their plan? To march, en masse, on March 3rd.

In force, they will call attention to the unfairness imposed on women who have no right to vote for the people who govern. They will collectively show their strength in numbers and will "ask President Wilson to give his support to the national woman suffrage amendment."

It will be the first time American women, and their supporters, hold a massive march in the nation's capital city.

See, also:

Alice Paul - Chairman of the Congressional Committee

Suffragette Parade - March 13, 1913

Success and Resistance - Alice Paul Keeps Fighting

Breaking Ranks within the Women's Movement

Lucy Burns - Let's Picket the White House

Lucy Burns and Alice Paul - Advocates for Women

Lucy Burns - Imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse

Alice Paul - Imprisoned

Alice Paul - Force Feeding

Victory - The 19th Amendment is Ratified

Media Credits

Clip from "Iron-Jawed Angels" (2004), an HBO film about suffragettes fighting for a constitutional amendment, giving American women the right to vote. 

Clips online, courtesy HBO and YouTube.  All copyrights/ownership rights belong to HBO.  Provided here as "fair use" for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.


Katja von Garnier

Len Amato
Lydia Dean Pilcher
Robin Forman
Paula Weinstein

Sally Robinson
Eugenia Bostwick-Singer
Raymond Singer
Jennifer Friedes


Hilary Swank - Alice Paul
Frances O'Connor - Lucy Burns
Molly Parker - Emily Leighton (a fictional character portrayed as a senator's wife)
Laura Fraser - Doris Stevens
Lois Smith - Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw
Vera Farmiga - Ruza Wenclawska (also known as Rose Winslow)
Brooke Smith - Mabel Vernon
Patrick Dempsey - Ben Weissman (a fictional character)
Julia Ormond - Inez Milholland
Adilah Barnes - Ida Wells-Barnett
Anjelica Huston - Carrie Chapman Catt

Reinhold Heil
Johnny Klimek

Robbie Greenberg

Hans Funck

HBO Films

Release date:
February 15, 2004

Running time:
125 minutes

Quoted passages from an article by Sheridan Harvey, online at the Library of Congress - American Memory - web site.


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"Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - Building the Base" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 21, 2020.
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