Marchers were neatly organized at the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913. However, marchers themselves reorganized—notably, African American women refused to march behind everyone else—and encountered opposition, which destroyed the original order. Thousands of marchers finished the parade, which proceeded down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the Treasury Building a day ahead of President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration.

Map by Winsor McCay, courtesy Library of Congress

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    On March 3, 1913, thousands of people marched along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to support woman suffrage in the United States. One day ahead of the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson, the march put pressure on Wilson and the Democratic Party to extend the vote to all women.
    Organized by civil rights activist Alice Paul, the march encountered internal and external conflict. The most pressing conflict among the marchers themselves was how to include African American women. Some white supporters did not want to march with African Americans, and the plan ultimately placed African American marchers behind all white women and male supporters. African American marchers, including civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, broke ranks and instead marched with their state contingent
    The thousands of marchers were met with violent opposition on their march from the Capitol to the Treasury Building. More than a hundred people were hospitalized, and many accused the police of allowing confrontation to continue. A Congressional investigation into the conflict resulted in the resignation of Washington, D.C.’s police chief.
    The march brought tremendous attention to the suffrage movement, although journalist Nelly Bly, who marched in the parade, said it would take until 1920 for women to be granted full suffrage. She was right—it took another seven years for Americans to recognize women’s right to vote.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Capitol Noun

    official building used by the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.

    civil rights Plural Noun

    set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.

    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    confront Verb

    to address a problem or person directly.

    contingent Noun

    small, designated part of a larger group.

    extend Verb

    to enlarge or continue.

    inauguration Noun

    ceremony that officially marks the beginning of a leader's term in office.

    opposition Noun

    group opposing, criticizing, or protesting another, usually larger or more well-known, group.

    police Noun

    local, state, or national government organization for law enforcement.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    resignation Noun

    formal act or statement giving up a title or position.

    tremendous Adjective

    very large or important.

    ultimate Adjective

    final or maximum.

    violent Noun

    strong, destructive force.

    woman suffrage Noun

    right of women to vote.