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Women of the Hall

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Year Honored: 1979
Birth: 1885 - Death: 1977
Born In: ,
Died In: ,
Achievements: Humanities
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Alice Paul

While earning degrees in law and social work, Alice Paul studied in London and joined the radical British suffrage movement. She was jailed several times and returned in 1910 determined to put new life into the American woman's struggle for the ballot. The National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the old organization of Anthony and Stanton, was still focused on state-by-state campaigns, but Alice Paul preferred to lobby Congress for an amendment to the Constitution. She worked first within the NAWSA and then in her own rival organizations. She soon demonstrated her political savvy, stealing the limelight at Woodrow Wilson's inauguration with a gigantic suffrage parade. When Wilson proved slow to aid the suffrage cause, Alice Paul adopted the British strategy of holding the party in power responsible. Her group, then called the Congressional Union, campaigned against Democrats in the states where women already voted. Alice Paul led them in militant tactics, including picketing the White House. After World War I broke out, tensions grew and the pickets were alternately threatened by hostile crowds and thrown in jail. Placed in solitary confinement in a psychopathic ward, Alice Paul was force-fed, but her spirit remained unbroken. In the 1920s her group, by then the National Woman's Party, set the agenda for feminism: the vote won, the next target would be an Equal Rights Amendment.
Additional Sources:
Gillmore, Inez Haynes. The Story of the Woman's Party New York: Kraus Reprints 1971, c1921. NOTES: Also published as Up Hill with Banners Flying Penobscot, Maine: Traversity Press, 1964.

Butler, Amy E. Two Paths to Equality: Alice Paul and Ethel M. Smith in the ERA debate, 1921-1929. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

Lunardini, Christine A. From Equal Suffrage to Equal Rights: Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party, 1910-1928. New York: New York Universtiy Press, 1986.

Typed Transcript of Oral History, 1976. Oral History Collection of Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Washington D.C.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago