On Feb. 16, 1908, 12 years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed, which gave women their voting rights, the Woman’s Progressive Suffrage Union marched for the right to vote, in spite of the fact that a permit to march was refused them by the police commissioner.
A brave little band of 23 women wearing yellow suffragette sashes and buttons marched from their tiny office off Union Square to the Manhattan Trade School on E. 23rd St. for a public meeting. A dozen policemen tried to break it up, but the enthusiastic crowds were more than they could handle.
The march was a great success. The speakers presented their grievances and demanded “self-sovereignty” for women, an end to “the absolute tyranny of men,” equal pay for equal work and “the pivotal right, the one that underlies all other rights,” the right to vote.