Alice Paul (1185-1977) was crucial to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. constitution granting women the right to vote in 1920. In 1923, she drafted and proposed the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment, then known as the Lucretia Mott Amendment.
While studying in England, Paul became active in the suffrage movement, learning important lessons about community organizing and social protest. In the United States, she was a member of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, and later cofounded, with Lucy Burns, the Congressional Union and cofounded the National Women’s Party in 1916.
On the journey toward suffrage, Paul participated in national marches and hunger strikes that often led to imprisonment and forced feeding—both particularly scandalous treatments of women in the early 20th century. She was part of the “Silent Sentinels,” a women’s rights protest group that were the first political organization to picket the White House.
Watch: Alice Paul (New Jersey Hall of Fame, 2010)
Christine Lunardi, Alice Paul: Equality for Women (2012)
J.D. Zahniser, Alice Paul: Claiming Power (2014)