50 Facts on Iron-Jawed Angels

50 Facts on Iron-Jawed Angels
1. The suffrage amendment was passed on August 26, 1920- today known as Women’s Equality Day.
2. Before 1920, women could vote in New Zealand (1893), Australia (1902), Finland (1906), Poland
(1907), Denmark (1915), Germany (1918), Ireland (1918), Scotland (1918) and Russia (1919).
3. Before 1920, women could vote in national and local elections in 12 states: Wyoming (1890),
Colorado (1893) , Utah (1896) , Idaho (1896) , Washington (1910), California (1911), Oregon
(1912), Arizona (1912), Kansas (1912), Montana (1914), Nevada (1914) and South Dakota (1918).
4. Alice Paul graduated from Swarthmore College in 1905 with a degree in Biology. She continued
her education with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1907, a Ph.D.
in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1912, an LL.B. from Washington College of
Law in 1922, and an LL.M. and D.C.L. from American University in 1927 and 1928.
5. Alice Paul was an avid athlete playing tennis, field hockey, and basketball while in high school and
6. Paul began her suffrage career in England as a member of the militant Pankhurst suffragette party,
the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). She was arrested several times, participated in
hunger strikes and was force-fed.
7. British women adopted the term of “suffragettes” (originally derisive term) while American women
preferred to use the term “suffragists.”
8. Alice Paul met Lucy Burns at a London police station while waiting to be booked. Burns was
wearing an American flag pin on her lapel and the two struck up a conversation.
9. Alice and Lucy began their work in the American suffrage movement in Washington, D.C. to lead
the Congressional Committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
They were given $10 from NAWSA’s treasury and were told that they would have to raise all
additional funds on their own.
10. Ruza Wenclawska was better known as Rose Winslow. Though born in
Poland, she was brought to the U.S. as an infant by her parents and was
raised in New York. She became a factory worker at the age of 11.
11. In the movie, Paul is shown at a bar with Inez Milholland. In reality, she
was a Quaker, and likely did not drink alcohol. Paul’s Quaker heritage
includes William Penn.
12. The suffrage procession in the movie takes place on March 3, 1913, the
day before Woodrow Wilson inaugural parade. Paul took advantage of the
press and the crowd that would be in D.C. to celebrate the Presidential
13. Marchers in suffrage parades wore white with purple, white and gold
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50 Facts on Iron-Jawed Angels
sashes. College graduates were encouraged to wear their graduation gowns. There were also a
number of women in costumes representing liberty, justice, Joan of Arc and other symbols of
women’s suffrage.
14. A division of male suffrage supporters also marched in the 1913 parade.
15. General Douglass MacArthur led the cavalry that was called in from Ft. Meyers, VA to quell the
parade riot.
16. Inez Milholland, a lawyer, social activist, and socialite, became known as the “Woman on a Horse,”
as she led two suffrage parades on horse (in New York and Washington). Her image became the
logo of the NWP after her 1914 death.
17. Following the parade, Congress held hearings into the failure of the police to protect the marchers.
The Washington Chief of Police, Richard Sylvester, was dismissed as a result.
18. The official newspaper of the National Woman’s Party was The Suffragist, a publication which
helped to raise funds for the party and kept members informed about the suffrage campaign
around the country.
19. Inez Milholland died several weeks after collapsing on a podium in Los Angeles. She was the first
woman to be given a memorial service in the U.S. Capitol, a Christmas Day service attended by
10,000, or more mourners.
20. Alice Paul never learned to drive. She never felt she could trust what she called, “the machine”.
21. The first National Woman’s Party (NWP) headquarters was the Cameron House, on Lafayette
Square, right across the street from the White House (quite convenient while picketing).
22. The American suffrage colors of purple, white and gold could be seen on suffrage banners,
clothing, sashes and posters. Purple stood for loyalty or dignity, white for purity (women were
deemed morally superior to men at this time), and gold for enlightenment (as morally superior
beings, women needed the right to vote to enlighten society to clean out corruption from politics
and attend to social issues such as schools, hospitals and parks).
23. The largest anti-suffrage support often came from liquor companies as women, particularly
suffragists, were most involved with the temperance movement to outlaw drinking.
24. The suffragists were called Silent Sentinels because they stood without saying a word while
picketing the White House. An annoyed Senator, Joe Walsh, gave them the nickname of “Iron
Jawed Angels,” in 1917.
25. In February 1917, the NWP held “College Day” on the picket lines. Students and alumnae wore
their college name on their sashes and stood in shifts on the picket line.
26. The women picketing outside the White House who were arrested for "obstructing sidewalk traffic"
did not pay the fine, because that would be admitting guilt to the criminal charges.
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50 Facts on Iron-Jawed Angels
27. Many of the suffragists arrested for picketing gave the name “Jane Doe” when booked at the jail.
28. While in prison, the suffragists drew many of the other prisoners to their cause, including
29. November 14, 1917 was dubbed the “Night of Terror” as arriving suffrage prisoners were met with
violence by prison guards. They pushed the women into their cells with brutal force and Lucy Burns
was handcuffed to the door of her cell. One older suffragist may have suffered a heart-attack but
was refused treatment.
30. Rose Winslow (Ruza Wenclawska) was first to join Alice Paul in a hunger strike while in prison in
November 1917.
31. Suffrage prisoners held daily contests of counting worms in their food in an effort to keep up morale
among the group.
32. To avoid the nauseating stench within their cells, prisoners, weak from hunger strike, moved their
straw sleeping mats to the common area outside of their cells, against the orders of the guards.
33. Prison officials cooked fried chicken outside their cells to break the hunger strikers’ spirits.
34. In the movie the feeding tube is shown being inserted down the throat. Suffrage accounts of the
forced feedings reveal that the tubes were just as often inserted down the nose.
35. Cold milk and raw eggs were commonly poured down the feeding tubes.
36. Former suffrage prisoners toured the country in the Prison Special, a whistle-stop train in early
1918. Suffragists, dressed in prison uniforms, recounted the harsh conditions they experienced
while in prison.
37. The Jailed for Freedom pin, depicting a prison gate with a heart-shaped lock, was presented to all
168 NWP members who served prison sentences.
38. In the movie Ben Weissman jokes that Doris Stevens would write a book about her experience in
prison. She did and it is called Jailed for Freedom, written in 1920. Copies are still available today.
39. Lucy Burns was arrested and sent to prison six times and spent more time in jail than any other
suffragist in America or England.
40. When the 19th Amendment passed, the NWP unfurled a purple, white and gold suffrage banner
with 36 stars each representing each state that ratified the Amendment.
41. Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. Alabama was the 1st
to defeat it on September, 2, 1919.
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50 Facts on Iron-Jawed Angels
42. The pictures often seen in texts today of Alice Paul toasting in front of the suffrage banner were
actually taken before August 26, 1920. Paul, always aware of potential press coverage, had them
taken in advance to use on the day that the amendment passed. The wine glass she toasts the
banner holds grape juice. Quaker values and Prohibition prevented her from drinking alcohol.
43. The character of Ben Weissman is fictional. There no confirmed record of a romantic relationship.
Paul never married nor had children.
44. The character of Emily Leighton (the Senator’s wife) is a composite character of the woman who
worked for suffrage against the wishes of her husband or family and also a woman who was
married to a politician and the influence she might have upon his political decisions (especially after
he saw her in prison).
45. Paul led the Congressional Committee, under the National American Woman’s Suffrage
Association (NAWSA). Paul split from NAWSA to form the Congressional Union (CU). The CU then
became the National Woman’s Party (NWP).
46. The membership of the NWP was 50,000 by 1916. Amelia Earhart was a member of the NWP as
was Georgia O’Keefe and Mary McLeod Bethune.
47. Congressmen wore a yellow rose on their lapels to symbolize support for suffrage, while a red rose
symbolized a vote against suffrage.
48. Harry Burn, a 24-year-old member of the Tennessee legislature received a letter from his mother
stating, “Don’t forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the ‘rat’ in Ratification.” His vote for
the Amendment broke the tie in Tennessee, the last state needed to ratify the Amendment.
49. The 1917 picketing campaign began in January 1917 and lasted until mid-November. NWP
suffragists picketed again in 1918 to press President Wilson for stronger support of the 19th
Amendment. They also lit watch fires in 1919 when the Amendment entered the ratification
50. In 1923, three years after the 19th Amendment passed, Alice Paul authored the Equal Rights
Amendment and introduced it at Seneca Falls, New York (the site of the first Women’s Rights
meeting in 1848). She worked tirelessly for its passage until her death in 1977.
128 Hooton Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054, 856-231-1885 (phone), 856-231-4223 (fax), info@alicepaul.org www.alicepaul.org
50 Facts on Iron Jawed Angels was written by the Alice Paul Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the life
and work of New Jersey’s most famous suffragist, Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977), author of the Equal Rights Amendment, founder of the
National Woman’s Party, and a lifelong activist for women’s equality. API’s mission is to educate the public about her life, preserve historic
Paulsdale, develop future leaders, and work towards achieving women’s equality. API owns and manages historic Paulsdale; Alice Paul’s
birthplace and family home in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Paulsdale is a National Historic Landmark and serves as a center for celebrating
women’s history and leadership. API was founded in 1985 and today has a membership of over 400 individuals and organizations.
For more information about Alice Paul, Paulsdale or the Alice Paul Institute, visit our website at www.alicepaul.org.
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