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Photograph of delegations of women in support of woman suffrage on east Capitol steps, May 9, 1914

In May 1914 the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, headed by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, organized a demonstration in the nation’s capital for women’s voting rights. Five thousand suffrage supporters marched from Lafayette Square down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol and delivered stacks of petitions from around the nation to Congress.

 

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Photograph of delegations of women in support of woman suffrage on east Capitol steps, May 9, 1914

Securing Woman Suffrage

Organizing in 1848 at a convention in Seneca Falls, New York, and continuing into the 20th century, several generations of woman suffragists worked tirelessly for the right to vote. Over time, strategies varied: in the early 1900s some supporters tried to attain full suffrage through a constitutional amendment, while others pursued state-by-state campaigns to win suffrage incrementally. Woman suffrage was finally achieved by constitutional means in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.