Alice Paul, former Ridgefield resident, suffragist, activist and visionary political leader achieved a lasting impact on American history. An unparalleled political strategist, she is remembered for her successful efforts to pass the 19th Amendment, which secured women the right to vote, and for her authorship of the Equal Rights Amendment, passed by Congress in 1972, but not as yet ratified.
In her era, women who raised their voices to power experienced extraordinary social and physical risks. Intimidation including incarceration, forced feeding and isolation were used (unsuccessfully) to ensure her silence. Her “unladylike” behavior -- including organizing protests against President Wilson’s inaction on the 19th Amendment — was considered radical, even “militant.” Just like the women who marched on Washington in 2017, Alice Paul’s led thousands of women to march on D.C. just prior to Wilson’s inauguration. They wanted justice, equal rights and the right to vote.