history meme | two out of ten moments
↳ The National Woman’s Party pickets the White House (January 10, 1917 - June 1919)
The National Woman’s Party became the first women’s group to picket the White House for women’s rights on January 10, 1917. Their efforts lasted for almost two and a half years and the women soon became known as the “Silent Sentinels”. While looked down upon, the picketers were tolerated. However, after the United States declared war in 1917, the picketers were often arrested. Unable to arrest the women for the act of picketing, the police arrested them for “obstructing traffic”. Upon their arrest, many women went on hunger strikes only to be force fed as a punishment. Anne Henrietta Martin was even sentenced to serve time at the Occoquan Workhouse, although she was pardoned by President Wilson a week later.
The picketing by and arrests of the suffragists had a negative impact on the United States’ reputation internationally. This conflicted with President Wilson’s work towards building a reputation for himself and the United States as an international leader in human rights and it is a common belief that the negative impact on the country’s reputation led to President Wilson’s decision to publicly call for the United States Congress to pass the Suffrage Amendment.