Tag Archives: Alice Paul

Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed

Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed

Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed
Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns Suffragist

It was on this date, November 21, in 1913 that the courts fined Lucy Burns, suffragist, $1 for chalking the sidewalk in front of the White House (NYT article). Lucy Burns was not a familiar name to me until I dug deeper into why the 1960s were what they were.

Lucy Burns was born on July 28, 1879 to an Irish Catholic family in Brooklyn, New York. Studying in Europe, Burns became involved in the British suffragist movement.  

In London, on November 11, 1909, police arrested Alice Paul, a fellow American, for throwing stones through a window at the Guildhall while the Lord Mayor’s banquet was in progress. Inside the hall, Burns found Winston Churchill, waved a tiny banner in his face, and asked him, “How can you dine here while women are starving in prison?”

Four years later, in April 1913, back in the United States Alice Paul and Lucy Burns founded the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage . In 1916, Burns helped to organize the National Woman’s Party.  She advocated the cause of “votes for women,” she organized, lobbied, wrote, edited, traveled, marched, spoke, rallied and picketed.

1917 was a pivotal year in the suffragist movement. Women continued to demonstrate in front of the White House trying to get President Wilson to change his view on the right of women to vote.

On June 20, 1917, targeting the Russian envoys visiting President Wilson, Burns and Dora Lewis held a large banner in front of the White House that stated: “To the Russian envoys: We the women of America tell you that America is not a democracy. Twenty million American women are denied the right to vote. President Wilson is the chief opponent of their national enfranchisement…Tell our government it must liberate its people before it can claim free Russia as an ally.” 

An angry crowd destroyed the banner, but despite the crowds’ attacks, Burns arrived two days later with Katharine Morey carrying a similar banner; police arrested them for obstructing traffic.
Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed
Occoqual Workhouse torture revealed
Burns wrote that going to prison for picketing would be “the last whack of a hammer…” She served more time in jail than any other suffragists in America. She was arrested in June 1917 and sentenced to 3 days; arrested in September, 1917 and sentenced to 60 days. In October 1917, declaring their status as political prisoners, Burns and 13 other suffragists, initiated a hunger strike at Occoquan Workhouse to protest the unjust treatment of Alice Paul. Her strike lasted almost three weeks.

Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed

On November 21, 1917, officials began force-feeding the hunger strikers. Unable to pry open Burns’s mouth, officials insert glass tube up her nostril, causing significant bleeding and pain.

Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed

Responding to increasing public pressure and the likely overturning of prisoners’ convictions on appeal, on November 27 and 28, government authorities ordered unconditional release of Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and 20 other suffrage prisoners.
And on December 6 - 9, 1917, at the Conference of National Women’s Party officers and National Advisory Council in Washington, D.C., the suffrage prisoners were each presented with a special commemorative “Jailed for Freedom” pin.

Lucy Burns Suffragist Force Fed

From the Sewall Belmont site: In 1920, exhausted from constant campaigning, Lucy declared at a meeting that she would fight no more and said, “…we have done all this for women, and we have sacrificed everything we possessed for them.” She was not present when Paul unfurled the victory banner at headquarters. Burns spent the rest of her life in Brooklyn, caring for her family and working with the Catholic Church. One of the bravest and most militant members of the National Woman’s Party, Lucy Burns’ articulate speeches, supreme leadership and brilliant strategizing greatly contributed to the achievement of woman suffrage.

Today the Lucy Burns Institute continues her struggle. From that site: The Institute is named in honor of Lucy Burns, a suffragette who helped to organize the National Woman’s Party in 1916. In her work to advocate the cause of “votes for women,” she organized, lobbied, wrote, edited, traveled, marched, spoke, rallied and picketed. When she was eventually arrested for her activities, she led a hunger strike in prison and was ultimately force-fed. She knew that being able to participate in a democracy by voting was an essential way to express our human dignity. For this goal, she was willing to fight and suffer.

The clip below is a piece of a speech that Emma Watson gave at the UN in 2014. The past is prologue.

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November 5 Peace Love Activism

November 5 Peace Love Activism


Voting Rights
November 5
Susan B Anthony
November 5, 1872:  to test the argument advanced by many feminists that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments guarantee women the right to vote, Susan B. Anthony attempted to vote in the 1872 presidential election. Anthony had consulted Judge Henry R. Selden before attempting voter registration in Rochester, New York. He concurred with Francis Minor’s [a lawyer and the husband of Virginia Minor (the president of the Woman Suffrage Association]  reading of the Fourteenth Amendment and provided a written opinion saying so. Anthony took the written opinion with her and threatened the registrars with a lawsuit if she were turned away. Anthony and 14 other women registered, and they voted in the presidential election. (US Feminism, see Nov 28, 1872, Voting Rights, see Nov 28)
 Alice Paul and Rose Winslow
November 5 November 5
November 5, 1917: jailed for picketing in front of the White House and demanding the vote,  Alice Paul and Rose Winslow begin hunger strike when demands for political prisoner status rejected. One week later, authorities subjected Paul to force-feeding three times a day and then separated her from other suffrage prisoners by transferring her to the psychiatric ward at District jail for “evaluation” in effort to intimidate and discredit her. (see Nov 6)


November 5
Shirley Chisholm elected to Congress
November 5, 1968: Shirley Chisholm, educator, author, and Democrat from New York, becomes the first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1972 she would become the first African American to enter a presidential bid. (Black History, see Nov 5; F Nov 14)
see George Whitmore, Jr for full story
November 5, 1968: Eugene Gold was elected Brooklyn District Attorney to succeed Aaron Koota. (BH, see Nov 22; Whitmore, see April 8, 1969)

Fair housing

November 5
Newspaper headline from April 1917 when case was argued in Supreme Court
November 5, 1917: Buchanan v. Warley, the Supreme Court case addressed civil government instituted racial segregation in residential areas. The Court held that a Louisville, Kentucky city ordinance prohibiting the sale of real property to African Americans violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which protected freedom of contract, reversing the ruling of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. (see June 13, 1933)

Black History

Isaac Woodard
November 5
Isaac Woodward with mother
November 5, 1946: the trial of those who attack Isaac Woodward ended. By all accounts, the trial was a travesty. The local U.S. Attorney charged with handling the case failed to interview anyone except the bus driver, a decision that Judge Waring, a civil rights proponent, believed was a gross dereliction of duty. Waring later wrote of being disgusted at the way the case was handled at the local level, commenting, "I was shocked by the hypocrisy of my government...in submitting that disgraceful case...."

The defense did not perform better. When the defense attorney began to shout racial epithets at Woodard, Waring stopped him immediately. During the trial, the defense attorney stated to the all-white jury that "if you rule against Shull, then let this South Carolina secede again." After Woodard gave his account of the events, Shull firmly denied it. He claimed that Woodard had threatened him with a gun, and that Shull had used his nightclub to defend himself. During this testimony, Shull admitted that he repeatedly struck Woodard in the eyes.

On this date after thirty minutes of deliberation, the jury found Shull not guilty on all charges, despite his admission that he had blinded Woodard. The courtroom broke into applause upon hearing the verdict. (see Nov 24)
Church Burning

November 5, 2008:  in Springfield, Mass., the Macedonia Church of God in Christ, a predominantly black church, which was under construction, was set on fire shortly after the election of President Obama. Of the three white men charged, two pleaded guilty and a third was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison. (BH, see Aprl 2, 2009; CB, see June 22, 2015)

Consumer Protection

Ralph Nader

November 5

November 5, 1965, Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed, was published.  The hardback edition by Grossman was 305 pages long and had a photo of a mangled auto wreck on its cover.  On the back cover, the book’s chapters were listed accompanied by a red-ink headline that stated: “The Complete Story That Has Never Been Told Before About Why The American Automobile Is Unnecessarily Dangerous.”(CP, see January 12, 1966; Nader, see February 10, 1966)


South Vietnam Leadership
November 5, 1964: South Vietnam's generals decided on a two-tier government structure with a military committee overseen by Duong Van Minh presiding over a regular cabinet that would be predominantly civilian with Thơ as Prime Minister. Minh was named President and Chief of the Military Committee; Thơ was listed as Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, and Minister of Finance. (see Nov 8)


November 6, 1965: at a peace demonstration in Union Square, NYC, Thomas Cornell (teacher) Marc Edelman (cabinetmaker), Roy Lisker (novelist and teacher), and James Watson (on staff of Catholic Worker Pacifist Movement) burn their draft cards. (Vietnam, see Nov 9; DCB, see Dec 21)
Walk for Peace
November 5, 1966: Walk for Love and Peace and Freedom: 10,000 + in New York City. (see Nov 7)
Richard Nixon elected

November 5

November 5, 1968: Richard Nixon elected President, defeating Hubert Humphrey by only seven-tenths of a percentage point. Nixon claims 301 electoral votes to Humphrey’s 191. Independent candidate George Wallace receives 46. (Nixon's speech) (see Nov 13)
Candidate Popular vote % popular vote Electoral vote % electoral vote
Richard Nixon 31,783,783 43.42% 301 55.9%
Hubert Humphrey 31,271,839


42.72% 191 35.5%
George Wallace 9,901,118 13.53% 46 8.6%

 November 6 Music et al

Rock Venues
November 6, 1965:  promoter Bill Graham put on his first show, a benefit for the radical San Francisco Mime Troupe at the Calliope Warehouse in San Francisco. He did it to raise money for a legal defense fund for a member of the troupe who been arrested a few days earlier. The troupe's offices were in the warehouse and they figured they could hold about 400 - 500 people. The donation to get in was "at least $1.00". About 4000 people showed up.

For entertainment, Bill hired a band who also rehearsed in the same warehouse. The band was the Jefferson Airplane. They played 3 songs. Also on the bill were The Fugs and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. (see Dec 10)
Rolling Stones
November 6 – 19, 1965, “Get Off My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Medical Marijuana

Proposition P
November 5, 1991: the first medical marijuana initiative appeared in the city of San Francisco as Proposition P, which passed with an overwhelming 79% of the vote. Proposition P called on the State of California and the California Medical Association to 'restore hemp medical preparations to the list of available medicines in California,' and not to penalize physicians 'from prescribing hemp preparations for medical purposes.'"

Five years later…

November 5, 1996: California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Voters passed the state medical marijuana initiative known as Proposition 215. It permitted patients and their primary caregivers, with a physician' s recommendation, to possess and cultivate marijuana for the treatment of AIDS, cancer, muscular spasticity, migraines, and several other disorders; it also protected them from punishment if they recommend marijuana to their patients. (AIDS, see April 20, 1998)

Seven years later…

November 5, 2013: Portland, Maine, voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana for residents 21 and older. The measure, Question 1, passed with about 70 percent of the vote, making Portland the first East Coast city to legalize recreational pot. Adult residents of Portland -- Maine's largest city -- may possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana under the referendum. The new measure does not permit the recreational purchase or sale of marijuana, nor does it permit its use in public spaces like parks. (see Nov 12)

Jack Kevorkian

November 5 – 8, 1993, Jack Kevorkian fasted in Detroit jail after refusing to post $20,000 bond in case involving Hyde's death. (see Nov 29)

Iraq War II, Saddam Hussein

November 5
Saddam Hussein protesting verdict
November 5, 2006:  Iraq’s High Tribunal found Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to hang for the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail. (NYT article on Hussain verdict) (see Nov 8)
November 5 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

November 5, 2007: some 12,000 television and movie writers begain what was to become a 3-month strike against producers over demands for an increase in pay for movies and television shows released on DVD and for a bigger share of the revenue from work delivered over the Internet (see February 7, 2008)

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

November 5

November 5, 2007: President George W. Bush awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harper Lee. In his remarks, Bush stated, "One reason To Kill a Mockingbird succeeded is the wise and kind heart of the author, which comes through on every page... To Kill a Mockingbird has influenced the character of our country for the better. It's been a gift to the entire world. As a model of good writing and humane sensibility, this book will be read and studied forever." Lee died on February 19, 2016.

LGBTQ, Same-sex Marriage, Illinois

November 5, 2013: the Illinois legislature gave same-sex couples the freedom to marry, making Illinois the 15th state (plus the District of Columbia) to do so, and the 9th new marriage state in just the last 12 months. With Illinois, over 37% of the American population lives in a freedom-to-marry state, up from 11% in 2012. (see Nov 7)



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October 22 Peace Love Activism

October 22 Peace Love Activism

Feminism & Voting Rights

October 22 Peace Love ActivismOctober 22, 1917: Alice Paul sentenced to seven months in jail in the Occoquan Workhouse, located in Virginia. (see Nov 5, 1917)  NYT article)


Leon McAtee
October 22, 1946: Holmes County, Mississippi, court freed the five white men accused in the beating death of Leon McAtee. Though one of the five had confessed to his own involvement in the murder and implicated the other four men, none was convicted. Before the trial ended, Judge S.F. Davis acquitted Spencer Ellis and James Roberts, finding the evidence insufficient to prove their guilt. The all-white jury then deliberated for ten minutes before acquitting Jeff Dodd Sr., Jeff Dodd Jr., and Dixie Roberts.

Leon McAtee was a tenant on Jeff Dodd Sr.’s farm who working a small plot of land for very little pay. When Mr. Dodd’s saddle went missing, he suspected Mr. McAtee of stealing it and had the black man arrested. On July 22, 1946, Mr. Dodd withdrew the charges and police released Mr. McAtee into Mr. Dodd’s custody. Mr. Dodd then called Dixie Roberts and together they took Mr. McAtee back to Mr. Dodd’s home, where Jeff Dodd Jr., James Roberts, and Spencer Ellis awaited them.

Inside the home, all five men beat Mr. McAtee and whipped him with a three-quarter-inch rope. The men then drove the badly beaten man to his home and presented him to his wife, who later reported that her husband was dazed and muttering about a saddle. The men then drove away with Mr. McAtee in their truck, and Mrs. McAtee fled with her children. Her husband was found dead in a bayou two days later. Soon after, his two young stepsons confessed to stealing the saddle. (see Nov 5)
John Earl Reese
October 22 Peace Love Activism
October 22, 1955: John Earl Reese was in a Mayflower, Texas, café when white men fired nine shots through the window, killing him and injuring his cousins. The men were attempting to terrorize African Americans into giving up plans for a new school. Local authorities were reluctant to investigate the shooting, with one sheriff insisting the culprit could be found in the nearby black community.

The following year the Texas Rangers took over the case and arrested two white men after one admitted they had fired nine bullets into the cafe from their speeding car. Both men acknowledged being angry about a new school being built in Mayflower, a mostly black community.

The men were found guilty of "murder without malice" and received five-year prison sentences that were immediately suspended. Neither spent a day in jail. Perry Dean Ross and Joseph Reagan Simpson were both convicted of the crime, but never spend a day behind bars because the judge suspended their five-year sentences. A historical marker in town now honors Reese. (see Nov 7)
School Desegregation
October 22 Peace Love ActivismOctober 22, 1963: many Chicago organizations that were part of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) staged a school boycott.  250,000 students did not attend school, and at least 20,000 marched on the streets of Chicago. The march was one of the largest and most overlooked civil rights actions of the 1960’s took place in Chicago. (BH, see Nov 1; SD, see April 7, 1964)
March to MontgomeryOctober 22 Peace Love Activism
October 22, 1965: the jury took less than two hours to acquit Collie Wilkins in Viola Liuzzo's slaying. (BH, see Nov 4; March, see Nov 30) (NYT article)


October 22, 1953: Laos independent from France. (see Nov 9)

Nuclear/Chemical News

Atomic testing
October 22, 1962: Soviet Union detonated 8.2 megaton above ground nuclear bomb. (CW, see Oct 22; NN, see Oct 30)
Security lapse
October 22, 2013: Air Force officials said officers entrusted with the launch keys to long-range nuclear missiles were caught twice during 2013 leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post. (see Nov 24)

The Cold War

October 22, 1962: President Kennedy announced the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba and ordered a naval blockade (see January 3, 1966). The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously agreed that a full-scale attack and invasion was the only solution. (see Oct 23)


October 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy was unhappy with stories in the New York Times by reporter David Halberstam, which indicated that American efforts to support the South Vietnamese government against the Viet Cong (aka, National Liberation Front) were failing. Kennedy tried to get the Times publisher to transfer Halberstam out of Vietnam on this day, but the Times refused. (see Nov 1)

Highway Beautification Act

October 22, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Highway Beautification Act, which attempted to limit billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising, as well as with junkyards and other unsightly roadside messes, along America's interstate highways. The act also encouraged "scenic enhancement" by funding local efforts to clean up and landscape the green spaces on either side of the roadways. "This bill will enrich our spirits and restore a small measure of our national greatness," Johnson said at the bill's signing ceremony. "Beauty belongs to all the people. And so long as I am President, what has been divinely given to nature will not be taken recklessly away by man." 

October 22 Music et al


October 22 Peace Love ActivismOctober 22 – November 4, 1966: The Supremes’ Supremes A’ Go-Go is the Billboard #1 album.
“The Beatles are now bigger than The Beatles”
October 22, 1996: Beatles publicist Geoff Baker announces that "The Beatles are now bigger than The Beatles". His statement was based upon the fact that the year 1996 was expected to be the biggest year for album sales ever for The Beatles. Thus far in 1996, The Beatles had sold 6,000,000 albums from their back catalog and a combined total of 13,000,000 copies of "The Beatles Anthology 1" and "The Beatles Anthology 2". With the release of "The Beatles Anthology 3" only a week away, it was anticipated that total Beatles album sales for 1996 would exceed 20 million. Somewhat surprisingly, studies showed that 41 percent of those sales were to teenagers who were not even born yet when The Beatles officially called it quits in 1970. (see March 11, 1997)
October 22 Peace Love Activism


October 22 Peace Love ActivismOctober 22, 1975: Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, was given a "general" discharge by the air force after publicly declaring his homosexuality. Matlovich, who appeared in his air force uniform on the cover of Time magazine above the headline "I AM A HOMOSEXUAL," was challenging the ban against homosexuals in the U.S. military. (LGBTQ, see September 16, 1977; Matlovich, see December 7, 1978) (NYT pdf)

US Labor History

October 22, 1981: the federal government de-certified  the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization for its strike in August. (see July 8, 1982)

Japanese Internment Camps

October 22 Peace Love Activism
October 22, 1999: groundbreaking on construction of a national memorial to both Japanese-American soldiers and those sent to internment camps takes place in Washington, D.C. with President Clinton in attendance. (see February 2, 2000) NYT article) 
October 22 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

October 22, 2012: Russell C Means died at age 72. (see June 25, 2013)


October 22, 2013: according to a Gallop poll conducted occasionally since 1969,  for the first time, 58% of Americans said that marijuana should be legalized. 12% of Americans thought that in 1969. (see Nov 5)

Iraq War II

October 22 Peace Love Activism
October 22, 2014:  (from the NYT) four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

 The convictions on murder, manslaughter and weapons charges represented a legal and diplomatic victory for the United States government, which had urged Iraqis to put their faith in the American court system. That faith was tested repeatedly over seven years as the investigation had repeated setbacks, leaving Iraqis deeply suspicious that anyone would be held responsible for the deaths. (Iraq, see March 20, 2015; Blackwater, see April 13, 2015) (NYT article)

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