Alice Paul Was Born
Alice Paul realized that to make big changes
in society, it takes a strong leader who has determination and
powerful strategies. Born on January 11, 1885, in Moorestown,
New Jersey, Paul provided just such leadership for the woman
suffrage (the right to vote) movement.
With a Ph.D. in
social work from the University of Pennsylvania and training in
militant tactics learned from English suffrage leaders, Paul
joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
Her first job was to put on a parade in Washington, D.C., to
draw attention to their cause. The parade took place at the same
time as inauguration festivities for President Woodrow Wilson.
Crowds surrounded the parading women, resulting in near riots.
Over the next seven years, Paul and others relentlessly
pursued legislation that would add a woman's right to vote to
the Constitution. Paul left NAWSA and formed a political party,
the National Woman's Party, that campaigned and demonstrated.
Party members picketed the White House and ended up behind bars,
where they continued their protest with a hunger strike, until
officials force-fed them.
In 1920, the Nineteenth
Amendment, allowing women the right to vote, was finally added
to the Constitution. Before her death in 1977, Alice Paul helped
orchestrate enormous changes in the rights and status of
American women, exemplifying a strong and determined leader.
What leaders today are as strong and determined as Alice Paul