On October 23, 1915, over 25,000 women marched up Fifth Avenue in New York City to advocate for women’s suffrage. At that point, the fight had been ongoing for more than 65 years, with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 first passing a resolution in favor of women’s suffrage. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t find success for another five years.
New York’s 1915 suffrage parade was the largest held in the city until that time. But many still had reservations. The New York Times ran an article warning that if women get the vote, they will “play havoc for themselves and society,” and that “granted the suffrage, they would demand all the rights that implies. It is not possible to think of women as soldiers and sailors, police patrolmen, or firemen” Heavens, think of the chaos!
In 1917, New York State granted women the right to vote. It was one of the first states to do so, and the domino effect lead to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which granted women the right to vote across the country. However, that didn’t put an end to the assumptions that women couldn’t be soldiers, or firefighters, or many other things traditionally in the male realm. Women fought, and continue to fight, for the right to be considered equal citizens every day, both in America and across the world.