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October 1915 Parade

October of 1915 brought to the streets of NYC one of the most important parades in support of woman suffrage.  For a day, attention turned away from the ongoing world war and toward the long struggle here for equality for more than half its citizens.

The tide was turning as can be seen from the media coverage of the event:

“The latest, biggest and most enthusiastic of suffrage parades, and the one which, according to the leaders of the suffrage forces, will be the last ever needed to plead their cause in New York, marched up Fifth Avenue from Washington Square to Fifth-Ninth Street yesterday afternoon, blazoned the whole city with the yellow of its banners, and brought out what seemed to be the larger part of the population of Manhattan to look at them.”
— New York Times, October 24, 1915

“It was a three mile argument for equal rights — a dignified, splendid argument — and every vantage point along the gay colored way was covered with men and women who saw its force.  Through the chill of a windy afternoon, though the sun shone on the mighty host, the great army of women passed, the white costumes of many glittering in the sunlight, defying the cold wind that the onlookers felt to their spines as they stood to see it all.”
— New York  Sun, October 24, 1915

“Some whose names are to be found all through the Social Register marched side by side with working mothers with babies in their arms. A large proportion of the marchers were young girls who would not be old enough to vote were they enfranchised. They made up in beauty what they lacked in years and were cheered all along the crowded Fifth Avenue sidewalks.”
— New York Evening World, Late Edition, October 23

“Old women, as old as suffrage, marched. Often beside them were little girls barely in their teens. And there were even tiny babies in carts, making their appeal for their mothers’ votes.  There was little applause all along the route for the women marchers. But this was not strange, for it could be seen that the spirit of the parade had made itself felt on the sidewalks. It was no laughing matter, this parade. The women in it did not smile or giggle. They were serious and determined. And this mental characteristic was contagious.”
— New York Tribune, October 24