ANTI-WILSON SUFFRAGIST BANNER SHREDDED IN FRONT OF WHITE HOUSE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago early this afternoon, June 20, 1917, Walter S. Timmis , a New York architect, and two other men ripped a suffragist* banner from its framework and shredded it to pieces.
An "angry mob" of approximately 300 men and women stood in front of the West Gate of the White House awaiting the arrival of the Russian mission who were coming to pay their respects to President Woodrow Wilson.
Suffragists displayed a 10 by 3 foot banner which read...
"To the Russian mission: President Wilson & Envoy Root are deceiving Russia. They say, 'We are a democracy. Help us win a world war so that democracies may survive.'
We, the women of America, tell you that America is not a democracy. 20 million American women are denied the right to vote.
President Wilson is the chief opponent of their national enfranchisement. Tell our government it must liberate its people before it can claim free Russia as an ally."
Before the attack on the banner, someone in the crowd shouted out, "It's treason! It's an outrage!"
The national chairwoman of the National Woman's Party, Miss Alice Paul**, said...
"It is those who deny justice and not those who demand it who embarrass the country in its international relations."
*Suffragist--a person advocating the extension of suffrage (the right to vote), especially to women.
**Alice Paul (1885-1977) was born in Mt. Laurel Township, New Jersey & graduated from Swarthmore College in 1905 & received an M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania (1907). She earned a law degree, LLM & Doctor of Laws at American University.
AP led the National Woman's Party & the campaign for the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.
"Women's Banner Torn To Pieces At White House", The Chicago Daily Tribune, June 21, 1917.