Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party

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

1918-1920

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

1918

Jan. 9 - President Wilson publicly declares support for federal woman suffrage amendment.

Jan. 10 - House of Representatives passes federal woman suffrage amendment by two-thirds majority.

Jan.-June - NWP lobbies for passage of federal woman suffrage amendment in Senate. NWP leaders go on national speaking tours.

Mar. 4 - U.S. federal appeals court declares unconstitutional arrests and detainment of all White House suffrage pickets.

Aug. 6-14 - Suffrage demonstrators protesting Senate inaction arrested at open-air meetings in Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6, 12, and 14.

Aug. 15 - First group (arrested Aug. 6) of Lafayette Park protesters tried, convicted, and sentenced to time in old District workhouse. Denied political prisoner status, they begin hunger strikes.

Exterior of a jail
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] Abandoned jail near District of Columbia prison where suffrage prisoners were confined during their long hunger strike in August 1918.

Aug. 20 - Lafayette Park protesters (sentenced Aug. 15) released.

Aug. 26 - Women arrested Aug.12 tried, convicted, and sentenced to 10 to 15 days in old District workhouse.

Sept. 16 - Open-air meeting in Lafayette Park; suffrage protestors burn a speech by President Wilson. No arrests made.

Sept. 26 - Federal woman suffrage amendment introduced in Senate.

Sept. 30 - President Woodrow Wilson asks Senate to pass federal woman suffrage amendment as war measure.

Oct. 1 - Senate defeats federal woman suffrage amendment, two votes shy of required two-thirds majority.

A woman holding a big banner
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] Alice Paul leads picket line from NWP headquarters. Harris & Ewing. October 17, 1918.

Oct. 7 - NWP begins picketing front of U.S. Capitol and Senate Office Building.

In a street, policemen and women protesters clash.
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Police arrest NWP demonstrators outside the Senate Office Building. Harris & Ewing. October 1918.

Nov. 11 - World War I ends.

Dec. 2 - President Wilson urges passage of suffrage amendment in annual address to Congress.

Dec. 16 - Following NWP conference, 300 women protest in Lafayette Park by burning President Woodrow Wilson’s speeches.

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1919

Jan. 1 - Watch fire demonstrations begin.

Feb. 9 - Massive watch fire demonstration held. President Wilson’s portrait burned in effigy. Police arrest pickets; those imprisoned begin hunger strike.

Feb. 10 - Senate defeats federal woman suffrage amendment by one vote.

Feb 13 - Watch fire demonstrators arrested Feb. 9 released.

Feb. 15 - “Prison Special” tour travels from Washington, D.C., across country featuring speeches by suffragists who served jail sentences. The women, often dressed in prison costumes, speak about their incarceration and seek support for federal woman suffrage amendment.

A woman holding a cup in her right hand.
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Pauline Adams of Virginia in a costume resembling the prison outfit she wore while serving a 60-day sentence. ca. 1918.

Feb. 24 - NWP members arrested in Boston while demonstrating against President Wilson sentenced to eight days in jail–last women imprisoned for suffrage.

Mar. 4 - Suffrage demonstrators attacked by police, soldiers, and onlookers outside New York Metropolitan Opera House, where President Woodrow Wilson speaks.

May 21 - House of Representatives passes federal woman suffrage amendment.

June 4 - Senate passes federal woman suffrage amendment. NWP begins campaign to obtain ratification of 19th Amendment by 36 state legislatures–required three-fourths majority at the time.

June 10 - Michigan and Wisconsin first states to ratify 19th Amendment.

June-Dec. - Twenty more states ratify 19th Amendment, two reject ratification.

A group of people around a desk.
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Colorado ratifies 19th Amendment. December 12, 1919.

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1920

Jan.-June - Thirteen additional states ratify 19th Amendment; six reject ratification.

June 8 - Republican National Convention opens in Chicago. NWP delegation lobbies for suffrage in states which have not ratified 19th Amendment; encourages inserting suffrage plank on platform. When plank is rejected, NWP members picket convention.

A group of women holding banners.
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  At the 1920 Republican Convention in Chicago, Abby Scott Baker, Florence Taylor Marsh, Sue Shelton White, Elsie Hill, and Betty Gram accuse the Republican Party of blocking ratification in Vermont and Connecticut. International Film Service Co., Inc. June 1920.

June 28 - Democratic National Convention opens in San Francisco. NWP members attend and obtain Democratic Party’s support for ratification and suffrage plank on platform.

July - NWP members meet with Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.

Aug. 18 - Tennessee ratifies 19th Amendment, providing necessary 36th state.

Aug. 26 - 19th Amendment becomes law.

Nov. 2 - Women across United States vote for first time.

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