Today in Feminist History: The “Silent Sentinel” Suffragists Imprisoned (June 27, 1917)

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Today in Feminist History is our daily recap of the major milestones and minor advancements that shaped women’s history in the U.S.—from suffrage to Shirley Chisholm and beyond. These posts were written by, and are presented in homage to, our late staff historian and archivist, David Dismore.


June 27, 1917: The first jail sentences imposed on some of the “Silent Sentinel” suffragists picketing President Wilson were handed down today in Washington, D.C.’s Police Court.

Mabel Vernon holding a banner earlier this week asking: “Mr. President, what will you do for woman suffrage ?”

Following a three-hour trial on false charges of “obstructing traffic” on the wide Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk, the picketers were each given a choice of paying a $25 fine or spending three days in prison. All six chose prison, and to be taken there in a police…

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