Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party

Brief Timeline of the National Woman's Party
1912-1997

1917

 For more information on these and other NWP-related events, including links to additional images, see the Detailed Chronology (PDF).*

Jan. 9 - President Wilson rebukes deputation presenting him with Boissevain memorial resolutions.

Jan. 10 - NWP begins silent picketing of White House.

A line of women holding flags
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  The first suffrage picket line leaving Congressional Union headquarters to march to the White House gates. Harris & Ewing. January 10, 1917.

Mar. 1-4 - CU and NWP merge into one organization—the NWP, at convention in Washington, D.C.

Mar. 4 - “Grand Picket” — More than 1,000 women march around White House in icy, driving rain on eve of President Wilson’s second inauguration.

Women with flags gathering for a demonstration
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  “Marching seven times around the walls of Jericho,” Grand Picket at the White House, eve of President Woodrow Wilson’s second inauguration. March 4, 1917.

Apr. 2 - Federal woman suffrage amendment reintroduced in House of Representatives. Jeannette Rankin of Montana, first woman elected to Congress, formally joins House of Representatives.

Apr. 4 - Federal woman suffrage amendment reintroduced in Senate.

Apr. 6 - United States enters World War I.

June 20 - Lucy Burns and Dora Lewis picket with “Russian” banner, accusing President Wilson and American envoy Elihu Root of deceiving Russia—by claiming United States a democracy. Angry crowd destroys banner.

June 22 - Lucy Burns and Katherine Morey, first pickets arrested while demonstrating outside White House; never brought to trial.

June 22-26 - Police arrest 27 more pickets—charged with obstructing traffic; all but six released without penalty.

Two woman holding a banner as a policewoman approaches
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] Policewoman arrests Florence Youmans (left) of Minnesota and Annie Arniel (center) of Delaware for refusing to give up their banners. June 1917.

June 27 - Six pickets sentenced to three days in District jail—first of 168 women to serve prison time for suffrage activities.

July - More pickets arrested and sentenced to jail.

Aug. 14 - Pickets carry “Kaiser Wilson” banner critical of President Wilson. Angry mob attacks pickets while police fail to intervene.

Aug.-Oct. - Attacks by bystanders and arrests of pickets continue.

A crowd around a police wagon
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] Police arrest pickets. Harris & Ewing. August 1917.

Sept. 14 - Senator Andrieus Aristieus Jones, chair, Senate Woman Suffrage Committee, visits Occoquan Workhouse to investigate treatment of suffrage prisoners.

Sept. 15 - Senate Woman Suffrage Committee suddenly reports out suffrage bill.

Sept. 24 - After years of NWP lobbying, House of Representatives creates separate Woman Suffrage Committee, allowing suffragists to bypass House Judiciary Committee, which routinely tabled all suffrage bills.

Oct. - Imprisoned suffragists circulate secret petition demanding political prisoner status. Petition smuggled out and presented to commissioners of District of Columbia. All who signed petition put in solitary confinement.

Oct. 20-22 - Alice Paul arrested (Oct 20). Sentenced (Oct. 22) to seven months in Occoquan Workhouse.

Nov. 5 - Paul and Rose Winslow begin hunger strike after demands for treatment as political prisoners rejected; subject to force-feeding one week later. Paul transferred to psychiatric ward at District jail in effort to intimidate and discredit her.

Nov. 6 - New York becomes first eastern state granting women the vote.

Nov. 10 - Large picket protests treatment of Paul and other suffrage prisoners; 31 pickets arrested.

Nov. 15 - Force used against suffrage prisoners at Occoquan Workhouse in “Night of Terror” prompts public outcry against treatment of protesters.

Nov. 27-28 - Under political pressure, government authorities release Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and 20 other suffrage prisoners.

*Download Adobe Reader for PDFs (external link)

 Top