The picketers, known as Silent Sentinels, were members of the National Woman’s Party, founded by Alice Paul. An extraordinary leader, Alice Paul endured repeated incarceration, force-feeding, solitary confinement, and an effort to discredit her and to remove her from the action by having her declared insane. After suffrage was won, she wrote the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, an ongoing fight today: “I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction,” she said. “Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.” Go to http://on.fb.me/flGdOa to see a photo of the new “Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement Gold Coin,” which is in the U.S. Mint’s First Spouse Gold Coin Series. Obviously Paul was not a president’s spouse, but she was selected as a stand-in for Chester Arthur whose wife had died before he took office. I’m not sure what Alice Paul would think of this honor, but I like the coin.
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