One Hundred Years Ago Today, October 28, 1917

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917.
Advocates march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of more than one million New York women demanding the vote.
The New York Times Photo Archives

One hundred years ago today, October 28, 1917, the New York Times reported that 20,000 people marched in a parade in New York City in support of woman suffrage, including 500 men. With the date of the vote on an amendment to the NY State Constitution giving women the vote (November 6, 1917) coming closer, the suffragists stepped up their act. The Times reported: “Thousands of persons packed the sidewalks on both sides of the 5th Avenue from Washington Square to 59th Street to cheer the marchers.” Banners held aloft proclaimed: “We shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts, for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own Government,” and “Our sons are fighting for democracy. In the name of democracy give us the vote.”

The Times further reported: “Women of all ages, from the nearly feeble to the vigorously youthful walked side by side –all seemingly fired by enthusiasm for their cause.” Women from other nations joined as well, from Finland, France, Japan, Russia and England. Marchers from Long Island included Helen Sherman Pratt, Florence Gibb Pratt, Katrina Ely Tiffany, and Miss Edith Pratt. Professional women included doctors, nurses, sculptors, teachers and authors. The parade continued down 5th Avenue for two hours and 40 minutes.

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