Today—June 22— in 1917, after two days of mobs attacking suffragists standing in silence and holding beautifully-lettered banners in front of the White House, the police made the first of what would be many arrests. The day before, the chief of police had called Alice Paul to tell her to stop the pickets or they would be arrested, (instead of promising to control the mobs.) Revolving teams of suffragists had been picketing six days a week since January 10, 1917, so, Alice Paul understandably pointed out: "Certainly it is as legal in June as in January. The picketing will go on as usual." And it did.
Three policemen and two police matrons arrested Lucy Burns and Katherine Moray and confiscated their banner that was inscribed with President Woodrow Wilson's hypocritical words: "We shall fight for the things we have always held nearest our hearts—for democracy—for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government." Newspapers around the country carried the news, including the two banner
headlines posted here, one from Washington, D.C., and the other from Tacoma, WA. In Juneau, Alaska, the The Alaska Daily Empire banner headline shouted: WHITE HOUSE PICKETS STOPPED. An article headline read: "Suffragists' Campaign is Suppressed." Burns and Moray were released and their banner held as "evidence." Pickets continued to be arrested and released for four more day. On June 27, six women were arrested, tried, and found guilty "of obstructing traffic." Refusing to pay a fine of $25, the suffragists spent three days and two nights in the District Jail. I'll write about their stay in my next post.