Spectators assaulted the picketers, both verbally and physically while the police did nothing to protect the women. The women were arrested and jailed for speaking out.
The picketers were placed in solitary confinement. They were given nothing to eat except bread and water. Using the only power they had the suffragist went on a hunger strike. Afraid the women might die, doctors force fed them. Three times a day for three weeks, they forced a tube down their throats and poured liquids into their stomach. Despite the pain and illness the force feeding caused, Alice Paul and many others refused to end the hunger strike--or their fight for the vote.
After 5 weeks in prison, Alice Paul was set free. The attempts to stop the picketers had backfired. Newspapers carried stories about the jail terms and forced feedings of the suffragists. The stories angered many Americans and created more support than ever for the suffrage amendment.
Finally, on January 9, 1918, Wilson announced his support for suffrage. The next day, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Susan. B. Anthony Amendment, which would give suffrage to all women citizens. On June 4, 1919, the Senate passed the Amendment by one vote. And a little more than a year later, on August 26, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment. That made it officially the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
We owe it to our great-grandmothers who did not have the right to vote, own land, or express their opinion. We owe it to our daughters who DO have these rights.
We owe them!