Woman Suffrage Procession: using our newspaper archives for your research

In this week’s blog I’m using some of the Library’s online resources to find primary source material about a specific event, the Woman Suffrage Procession of 1913.

On 3rd March 1913 a woman suffrage procession was held in Washington DC. Not by chance was this date chosen, 3rd March was the day before a new US President, Woodrow Wilson, was inaugurated. It’s estimated that around 5000 women took part in the suffrage pageant organised by the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and the first of its kind in Washington DC.

Adam Cuerden [Public domain or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

But what started as a peaceful parade ended with the women being harassed and jeered by onlookers with the police doing little to intervene.

I have to admit I had never heard the story of this parade until I read a short article on it in the March 2017 issue of the BBC History Magazine1. And reading about it, it wasn’t hard to draw parallels with the recent Women’s March that took place in Washington DC and around the world days after the¬†inauguration of a new US President this year.

I wanted to try and find out more about this Suffrage Parade (also referred to as Suffrage Pageant) using some of the resources available at the Library. And I wanted to focus on primary sources about the event, particularly newspaper articles.

So where better to start than by searching and browsing some of the newspaper archives for US titles that we have access to at the Library, specifically the Historical Washington Post (1877-1999), New York Tribune archive (1841-1922) and the Historical New York Times (1851-2012). Continue reading