As the day of the now-famous suffragette parade draws closer, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns meet Inez Milholland.
A lawyer specializing in labor law, Milholland is both bright and beautiful. The women come up with an idea for the parade: Inez will lead the procession on a white horse, dressed in a white cape.
The day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, a large group of women march along Pennsylvania Avenue. Could they have predicted how the spectators would treat them?
The Library of Congress tells us what happened:
On Monday, March 3, 1913, clad in a white cape astride a white horse, lawyer Inez Milholland led the great woman suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital. Behind her stretched a long line with nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, about twenty-four floats, and more than 5,000 marchers.
Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession. Then came the “Pioneers” who had been struggling for so many decades to secure women's right to vote. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wearing appropriate garb—nurses in uniform, women farmers, homemakers, women doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians, college women in academic gowns.
Harriet Hifton of the Library of Congress Copyright Division led the librarians' contingent. The state delegations followed, and finally the separate section for male supporters of women's suffrage.
All had come from around the country [Elizabeth Freeman, from New York, was dressed as a gypsy and driving a wagon decorated with "Votes for Women" symbols so she'd generate publicity] to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.”
The procession began late, but all went well for the first few blocks. Soon, however, the crowds, mostly men in town for the following day's inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, surged into the street making it almost impossible for the marchers to pass. Occasionally only a single file could move forward.
Women were jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard “indecent epithets” and “barnyard conversation.” Instead of protecting the parade, the police “seemed to enjoy all the ribald jokes and laughter and part participated in them.”
One policeman explained that they should stay at home where they belonged. The men in the procession heard shouts of “Henpecko” and “Where are your skirts?”
As one witness explained, “There was a sort of spirit of levity connected with the crowd. They did not regard the affair very seriously." (See Sheridan Harvey's article, "Marching for the Vote: Remembering the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913," online at the Library of Congress - American Memory - web site.)
Despite their disrespectful treatment, Alice and her colleagues were happy with the press reports. Would those great headlines help their cause?
Alice Paul - Chairman of the Congressional Committee
Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - Building the Base
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
Clips online, courtesy HBO and YouTube. All copyrights/ownership rights belong to HBO. Provided here as "fair use" for educational purposes and to aquaint new viewers with the program.
Katja von Garnier
Lydia Dean Pilcher
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
February 15, 2004
Quoted passages from an article by Sheridan Harvey, online at the Library of Congress - American Memory - web site.
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