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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Harris & Ewing. Virginia Arnold (b.1880), holding “Kaiser Wilson” banner, August 1917. Reproduction. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (094.00.00)
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Cloth fragment from “Kaiser Wilson” banner, August 1917. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (095.00.00)
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The Infamous Kaiser Wilson Banner

For several days in mid-August 1917, attacks on the pickets reached a fevered pitch, fueled by sailors and soldiers enraged by banners comparing Woodrow Wilson to German emperor Wilhelm II. This one, held by Virginia Arnold, questioned Wilson’s supposed sympathy for self-government. August 14 was especially violent, and when unable to keep replenishing their torn banners, the pickets withdrew to the balcony of NWP headquarters, only to have sailors scale the wall. A gunshot ripped through a window. This colorful fragment was retrieved from the White House sidewalk by passerby Anne B. Cushman, who sent it to the NWP in 1943.

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