On January 10, 1917 members of the National Woman’s Party start picketing the White House.
America enters WWI. The suffrage movement is split. During the Civil War suffrage was put on hold in order to support the war efforts and lost momentum. During WWI some suffragists felt it was important to unite as a nation and others felt it was unfair to put suffrage on hold yet again.
The Silent Sentinels continue to picket the White House. Their banners display pointed criticism of the President. Although the protests are both peaceful and legal demonstrations of lawful assembly and freedom of speech, the suffragists begin to be arrested and jailed on charges of "obstructing traffic".
The American public learns about the Night of Terror and force feedings of the imprisoned suffragists. There is a public outcry over their treatment. The Wilson administration releases them from jail in November.
Using Carrie Chapman Catt's "Winning Plan" the National American Woman Suffrage Association goes all in on a second New York state suffrage campaign. It is successful. Indiana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Rhode Island are able to pass partial suffrage.
The year began with great hope for passage of national suffrage but a worldwide pandemic combined with the final year of WWI changes the way America deals with death.
The National Woman's Party (NWP) start publicly burning books written by President Wilson and copies of speeches that he gave. In February, they burned an effigy of the President in front of the White House. America was shocked. Many of the other suffrage groups condemned the action. The "Watchfires of Freedom" were in line with the protests of the more militant and radical British "suffragettes" but the NWP always called themselves "suffragists".
Prohibition becomes the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Although many people believe it was only women who were to blame for banning alcohol, the law was proposed by Wayne Wheeler, leader of the Anti-Saloon League, and pushed through over President Wilson's veto by Andrew Volstead, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
The National Woman's Party (NWP) sponsors the "Prison Special" public speaking tour. Like the 1916 "Suffrage Special" speaking tour, also sponsored by the NWP, the "Prison Special" crossed the country by rail. Suffragists who had been arrested for picketing the White House wore prison garb, gave speeches, re-enacted hunger strikes, and distributed suffrage pamphlets.
The National American Women's Suffrage Association holds a Golden Jubilee to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first law granting full suffrage to women (Territory of Wyoming in 1869). Carrie Chapman Catt gives a speech and presents the idea of a League of Women Voters.
The Susan B. Anthony Amendment passes both houses of Congress and is now sent onto the states for ratification.
The race is on to ratify the 19th Amendment. Learn which states were for it and which ones voted against it.
Episode 82: The Race for Ratification https://suffragettecity100.com/82
Sewing circles were hotbeds of activism and social reform. Women also used the domestic arts to make powerful political statements.
Episode 83: Craftivism https://suffragettecity100.com/83
Public Law No. 66-259 establishes the Women's Bureau within the U.S. Department of Labor.
Episode 84: Women’s Work https://suffragettecity100.com/84
The League of Women Voters is officially founded.
Episode 85: Founding of the League of Women Voters. https://suffragettecity100.com/85
Tennessee becomes the final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment thanks to a mother’s letter to her son.
Episode 86: It All Comes Down to Tennessee https://suffragettecity100.com/86
Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signs the proclamation declaring the official addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
Episode 87: Making It Official https://suffragettecity100.com/87
The 19th Amendment did not actually give women the right to vote. It only prevented discrimination on the basis of sex. This left large loopholes for states to continue voter suppression by other means.
Episode 88: Who Could Actually Vote https://suffragettecity100.com/88
The Equal Rights Amendment is introduced to Congress. Why is it necessary?
Episode 89: The Equal Rights Amendment https://suffragettecity100.com/89
Learn statistics of when women around the world gained the right to vote.
Episode 90: https://suffragettecity100.com/90
Timeline Recap and Epilogue
Episode 91: Suffering For Suffrage https://suffragettecity100.com/91