Hard One, Not Done


A commemoration of the 100-Year Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment from an Iowa Perspective

Achieving the Right to Vote: Carrie Chapman Catt & Alice Paul

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 12:00pm
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 2:00pm

As the 20th century dawned, the women’s movement divided. The National American Woman Suffrage Association took the traditional approach, Carrie Chapman Catt fought her way through the barriers of society. She was the only
woman in her graduating class from Iowa State University. She advanced from teacher to the first female school administrator in Mason City, Iowa. She did it by proving she was the best choice. Her approach in leadership was a
similar moderate method. Frustrated in the courts and in congress, Catt’s plan was to work the individual states, passing legislation locally to get the vote for women in individual states. Their overall goal was to get congress to pass a constitutional amendment on women’s suffrage. It was a winning strategy with a stony path. It worked, but it took effort, energy, and emotional fortitude.

Alice Paul split with the group and led the public march on the eve of President Wilson’s inauguration. Eight thousand women were cheered and jeered along the parade route, but the size of the march opened eyes, excluding President Wilson’s. He told the women “it was not yet time” for a constitutional amendment. Paul responded with further “unseemly” public protests and picketers. She pushed society to face the reality that women were no longer passive and delicate flowers but active and engaged in their efforts to achieve equality. Her methods included parades, protests, and eventually the picketing of the White House with 1000 “Silent Sentinels” starting in 1917.

When the U.S. entered World War I, the president and public were outraged that the protests did not stop. With the ire of the nation, Paul continued on. See how the story plays out, and meet the two women who led the fight that achieved the right to vote!

WITCC Cargill Auditorium
4647 Stone Avenue
Sioux City
Intended Audience: 
General Public
Contact Name: 
Dagna E Simmons
Contact Email: