Out past curfew


Out past curfew


Cities around the country instituted curfews this week to restrict protest, so it’s a good time to recall when suffragists were out after dark.

In 1912, New York City suffragists lit the darkest night of the year with a massive nighttime demonstration. 🏮 thread.

Only six months after a massive spring march, NYC suffragists wanted to show their power again.

Women had won the vote in three new states that year - Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona - and fundraising for a new effort in New York was already underway.

They planned the march for 8 p.m. on a Sunday night in the middle of November. The late hour was intended to enable more working women to participate, and to set the stage for a dramatic display.

@LCSantangelo told the story at @nyhistory:

The organizers ordered 5,000 Japanese lanterns. In addition, “men planned to wear miners’ lamps, parade marshals to wield batons topped with electric lightbulbs, & automobiles to carry searchlights. Lobbyists expected to create ‘one long blaze of glory’ in support of the ballot.”

Not everyone thought this was a great idea.

“Some worried that the 8 pm start time would breed a rowdier atmosphere; others fretted about the dangers of returning home once the demonstration concluded. Women might be accepted on the streets during the daytime, but now-- organizers were asking them to march at a time of day when many believed that ‘respectable’ women should not be out in public without male escorts.”

It was rainy and cold, but they pulled it off.

There was no violence, and showed women were willing to take risks and push boundaries to win. And it looked spectacular.

The headline in Monday's Times, above the fold: “400,000 Cheer Suffrage March--20,000 Women in Great Parade--Fifth Avenue a River of Fire.” #Suffrage100 


Daily Suffragist






Daily Suffragist, “Out past curfew,” Daily Suffragist, accessed July 12, 2024, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/405.

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