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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Official Program, Woman Suffrage Procession, Washington, D.C., March 3, 1913. NAWSA Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (064.00.00)
Crowd Converging on Marchers and Blocking Parade Route during March 3, 1913, Inaugural Suffrage Procession. Reproduction. Washington, D.C.: Leet Brothers, 1913. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (406.00.00)

First National Suffrage Parade

After weeks of controversy and logistics, the first national suffrage parade began in a capital city brimming with media and visitors for the next day’s inauguration. Nine bands, four mounted brigades, twenty-four floats, and an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 costumed marchers assembled in a procession matching the dignity, beauty, and imagery of the illustrated souvenir program. All was nearly lost, however, when police failed to protect the parade route, and crowds of rowdy and inebriated men cursed, threatened, and mobbed the marchers, injuring more than 300 suffragists, before a cavalry unit restored order.

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