In 1915, The Birth of a Nation was a controversial blockbuster and a D.C. schoolteacher, Angelina Weld Grimké, was a writer unafraid to use her art as form of protest. This is the story of "Rachel," an acclaimed anti-lynching play written in Washington, D.C.
On March 3, 1913, one day before the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson, 5,000 women marched on Pennsylvania Avenue to demand women's suffrage. Though their parade was met with violence from the crowd, the suffragettes kept marching toward the vote.
At 10 o’clock in the morning on January 10, 1917, 12 women from the National Woman’s Party took up posts outside the White House entrances. They stood in silence, wearing purple, yellow, and white ribbons, and holding large banners, which read: “Mr. President, what will you do for woman suffrage?” By the fall, many of the picketers had been jailed and reports of prison abuse hit the newswires.
WETA Television's documentary, Arlington National Cemetery has inspired us to do some digging on cemetery history. Here's the background behind one of Arlington's most meaningful memorials.
On a warm, sunny day in June of 1914, a crowd gathered to witness the unveiling of what The Washington Post described as “a memorial of heroic size, commemorating war, but dedicated to peace.” It was an intricately designed, 32-foot tall granite monument deeply embedded with symbolic meaning for visitors to decode. A large statue of a woman facing southward dominated the top of the monument. In her extended arm was a laurel wreath meant to represent the sacrifices of fallen soldiers. Below her, a Biblical passage was inscribed, near four urns that symbolize the four years of the Civil War, and fourteen shields. Closer to the monument’s base are thirty-two life-sized figures, including Southerners of varying military branch, race, gender, occupation, and age, along with mythological characters such as Minerva, Goddess of War.
So what was this new monument and why were so many people clamoring to see it?