Placards At The White House

In 1917, fed up with the inaction of conservative suffragists, Alice Paul decided on the unorthodox strategy of pressuring the president directly

By New Year’s Day 1917, Alice Paul, leader and founder of the National Woman’s Party, had made up her mind. Ever since coming home from studying abroad in 1910, the University of Pennsylvania PhD in political science had observed the ineffective American women’s suffrage movement with increasing impatience. She believed that for women to gain the vote—no matter how radical such a step might seem, no matter the reaction of conservative suffrage organizations—her dedicated followers in the Woman’s Party must picket the White House. Read more »

The Case Of The Chambermaid And The Nine Old Men

When Elsie Parrish was fired, her fight for justice led to dramatic changes in the nation’s highest court.

When, on a spring day in 1935, Elsie Parrish walked into the office of an obscure lawyer in Wenatchee, Washington, to ask him to sue the town’s leading hotel for back pay, she had no idea she was linking her fate to that of exploited women in a Brooklyn laundry a whole continent away. Still less did she think that she was setting off a series of events that would deeply affect President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plans for his second term.Read more »

“I Was Arrested, Of Course…”

American women won the right to vote in 1920 largely through the controversial efforts of a young Quaker named Alice Paul. She was born in Moorestown, New Jersey, on January 11, 1885, seven years after the woman-suffrage amendment was first introduced in Congress. Over the years the so-called Susan B.
 

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