Monday, January 23, 2017

The Original Women's March on Washington and the Suffragists Who Paved the Way

"Following on the heels of President Donald Trump's inauguration this Friday, at least 3.3 million Americans gathered for marches around the country, rallying behind calls for a Women's March on Washington—though the rallies ultimately spready to many cities worldwide. In Washington, D.C., alone, crowd estimates were around 500,000, with protestors calling for gender equality, protection for immigrants, minority and LGBTQ rights and access to women's health services.
But it wasn't the first time huge crowds of women turned out to make demands of the government. On March 3, 1913, one day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, more than 5,000 women descended on Washington to fight for the vote. Some came on foot, some on horseback, some in wagons. There were costumes and placards and about half-a-million spectators lined the streets. Among the marchers were journalist Nellie Bly, activist Helen Keller and actress Margaret Vale—who was also the niece of the incoming president (who was by no means an ally of the suffrage movement; he once said women who spoke in public gave him a “chilled, scandalized feeling”). Despite being heckled and harassed by the crowd, the march was enormously memorable; six years later Congress passed the 19th Amendment, extending the franchise to women nationwide.
Women's March on Washington(1913)

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