National Archives honors the 100th anniversary of the landmark 1913 Women's Suffrage Parade, and Women's History Month, with a free screening of star-studded film "Iron Jawed Angels" on March 2 at noon.
Those "Iron Jawed Angels" are played by Oscar®-winners including Anjelica Huston (the current smash in "Smash" portrays suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt), Hilary Swank (double best actress winner for "Boys Don't Cry" and for "Million Dollar Baby", plays suffragist Alice Paul). Patrick Dempsey ("Dr. Dreamy" on "Grey's Anatomy"), is a Washington political cartoonist and love interest of a suffragist in the 2004 film.
"Iron Jawed Angels" tells the heroic true story of activists who risked their lives to help win women's right to vote.
The struggles resonate today, with inflamed public opinion about highly controversial issues, rights, and legislation; deep divisions among like-minded activists; sex discrimination; treatment of political prisoners; protests turning violent...
A turning point of the decades-long struggle for women's suffrage stemmed from the massive parade on March 3, 1913, the day before President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. Many law-abiding marchers were attacked, and several demonstrators were arrested and abused in prison.
The best-known, Alice Paul, was held in solitary confinement, denied counsel, put in a straitjacket, and then led the imprisoned suffragists on a hunger strike.
They were force-fed, and after news of the abuse leaked out, public opinion shifted in favor of the "iron jawed angels".
Finally, the women were released from prison, and President Wilson was persuaded at last to support a Constitutional amendment for women's suffrage.
Seven years later, on Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment became law, guaranteeing all American women the right to vote.
But as Alice Paul warned then, "the fight for full equality ... has just begun."