On March 3, 1913, 5,000 women marched up Pennsylvania Avenue demanding the right to vote. On a 1913 postcard photograph illustrating the opening moments of The National Woman Suffrage Parade, on at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on view now through October.
This famous demonstration planned and accomplished on the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration. The first protest march to highlight their movement in the nation’s capital getting the attention of the national and international press in town to cover a presidential inauguration.
The demonstration brought women from around the nation to gather in Washington D.C. in a show of determination to obtain the right to vote. Their procession caused a near riot due to a crowd of men trying to block the parade and nearly destroyed it; however, women suffrage was in the newspapers for weeks.
The “Artifact Walls” reflects the National Museum of American History's core mission to collect, study, and exhibit objects from our nation's rich and diverse history. These display walls consists of 275 linear feet of glass-fronted cases lining the central first and second floors.
“The National Woman Suffrage Parade, 1913” display a rich collection of objects recreating the mood of the parade and illustrates its impact using costumes worn by participants along with banners, sashes, letters, photographs, postcards including three Jailed for Freedom pins, publications and buttons.
Many items on exhibit currently mark the centennial anniversary of the 1913 suffrage parade, with various parade artifacts found on the “Artifact Walls.” in one of the special cases that highlight anniversaries, new acquisitions to the collections, and research findings highlight the depth and breadth of the collections.
For more than a century, women in the United States struggled to acquire the right to vote and women’s identity as American citizens. In 1920, the suffrage movement finally achieved victory with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.