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‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’

The suffragette movement protesting against Woodrow Wilson in front of The White House, 1917


As the time for our right to vote as Americans approaches, we thought we’d share the stories of some extraordinary and courageous women in U.S. history… who exercised their right as citizens of this country, defied authority in order to make their voices heard — and defended the 1st Amendment of our Constitution regardless of the consequences.



Women were not given the right to vote until 1920. But in 1917, 33 women were jailed for protesting in front of the White House. They were beaten, abused, and  tortured because of their decision to defy the government and stand for their beliefs that women were equal to men and had the same right to place a mark on the ballot! Their resilience and bravery during their time in prison gives testament to women’s ability to overcome any and all obstacles that stand in their way.

The infamous “Night of Terror” on November 15, 1917, claimed many victims from the suffragette movement to the unspeakable horrors at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia.

Below are some of the true heroines, who give U.S. women today the gift of political equality — and more than enough reasons to go out and exercise their right to vote tomorrow, November 6th, 2012.


Lucy Burns was beaten and chained to her cell bars in prison. She was left hanging overnight, bleeding and gasping for air.


Alice Paul, a leader of the Suffragette movement, was tortured for weeks after organizing a hunger strike. Woodrow Wilson himself attempted to discredit Paul by persuading a psychiatrist to diagnose her as clinically insane.

Dora Lewis was thrown into a dark cell, and knocked out cold by prison guards who banged her head against an iron bed.


Mrs. Pauline Adams was imprisoned for 60 days, accused as one of the 33 women who were “obstructing sidewalk traffic” in front of Wilson’s White House.


Helena Hill Weed, from Norwalk CN, served 3 days in a DC prison for carrying a banner that said “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


Berthe Arnold, CSU Graduate and kindergarten teacher, was arrested January 1919 during the Watchfire demonstrations. She was sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

Edith Ainge, from Jamestown NY, was the first delegate to the convention of the National Woman’s Party to arrive at their Washington headquarters. She served 60 days in Occoquan Workhouse on Sept. 1917, as well as 4 other jail sentences for advocating women’s rights.





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