Within 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the law requiring nine states to submit voting law changes to the federal government for pre-clearance, five (including Virginia) are already moving ahead with voter ID laws, some of which had previously been rejected as discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act.

Fairfax County, Virginia is the site of possibly the most significant moment in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States.

In 1917, more than 70 suffragists were imprisoned in the Occoquan Workhouse, then part of the Lorton Prison complex, in retaliation for picketing the Woodrow Wilson White House for the right to vote. The reports of inhumane conditions, beatings and force-feeding at the workhouse electrified the country and became the “turning point” in the struggle for the 19th Amendment.

The conditions the women endured, including beatings and forced feedings, brought attention to the suffrage movement, and helped to pressure President Woodrow Wilson to recommend the passage of the Susan B. Anthony amendment.

As long as women have to go to jail for petty offenses to secure freedom for the women of America, then we will continue to go to jail.

The day of August 26, 1920, marked the culmination of a 72 year massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women. The 19th amendment was ratified. Finally, American women could participate in the national political process.

Visit the Workhouse Prison Museum on Women’s Equality Day, Sunday, August 25, 2013 and join in the celebration of the 93rd anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. Women’s Equality Day is jointly presented by the Workhouse Prison Museum and the Turning Point Suffrage Memorial.

Workhouse Arts Center
9601 Ox Road
Lorton, VA 22079
(703) 584-2900

Activities listed below will take place in Building W-9 and are free and open to everyone.

12:30pm “The Suffrage Prisoners at Occoquan”, illustrated talk by Alice Reagan, Associate Professor of History, NVCC.

1:15pm “The War of the Roses”, award winning student film about the conflict between Tennessee legislators opposed to suffrage (red roses) and in favor of giving women the right to vote (yellow roses). Tennessee was the last state to ratify the 19th amendment in 1920 by an extremely narrow margin.

1:30-3:30pm Meet, talk and be photographed with costumed interpreters who portray significant figures in the fight for women’s right to vote.

3:30pm Suffragist Songs. Singers from the Metropolitan Academy of the Arts give voice to the music sung at the turn of the century in support of women’s right to vote.

“Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage” is an Emmy Award-winning parody music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920. –>