On March 3, 1913, 5,000 women marched up Pennsylvania Avenue demanding the right to vote. Their “national procession,” staged the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration, was the first civil rights parade to use the nation’s capital as a backdrop, underscoring the national importance of their cause and women’s identity as American citizens. The event brought women from around the country to Washington in a show of strength and determination to obtain the ballot. The extravagant parade–and the near riot that almost destroyed it–kept woman suffrage in the newspapers for weeks. This 30-foot long showcase display recreates the mood of the parade and illustrates its impact using costumes worn by participants along with banners, sashes, postcards, letters and photographs.
If you cannot make it to Washington D.C. and want to look at some of the high resolution images, be sure to check out the exhibit online.