A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, millions nationwide and around the world marched in support of women's rights.

Huge crowds converge on flagship Washington march.

Hundreds of thousands at Los Angeles march alone

Did you march? Tell us why.

See the marches around the world.

A brief history of women's demonstrations, from suffragists to reproductive rights

 (Library of Congress)
(Library of Congress)

The Women’s March on Washington joins a long tradition of women’s protests in the U.S. capital.

The suffragists

The day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913, more than 5,000 women, accompanied by nine bands and about 20 floats, marched in Washington to demand the right to vote.

Among the marchers was a group of women who had hiked all the way from New York for the occasion. According to a Library of Congress account of the event, the parade even included "four mounted brigades" and "three heralds."

When President Wilson and his staff were greeted in Washington by an empty Union Station instead of welcoming crowds, they wondered where all the people were.

Watching the suffragists, it turned out.  

Organized by Alice Paul and led by Inez Milholland, who sat astride a white horse wearing Joan of Arc robes, the marchers walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Treasury Building. Along the way, they were “jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard ‘indecent epithets’ and ‘barnyard conversation,’” according to the Library of Congress account. More than 100 were sent to a local emergency room.

Public outrage over how the women were treated helped galvanize support for the suffrage movement. The 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was ratified seven years later.

Equal Rights Amendment

Marches in support of the Equal Rights Amendment took place across the country in the 1970s and early 1980s. Congress had approved the amendment in 1972, but 38 states needed to ratify it within seven years for it to become law.

The biggest march occurred in Washington in 1978, when the National Organization for Women organized about 100,000 supporters to rally for an extension of the ratification deadline. Though they did receive an extra three years, several states remained resistant, and the amendment died in 1982, having been approved by 35 states.

Million Mom March

On Mother’s Day in 2000, Donna Dees-Thomases and about 750,000 others marched on Washington to advocate for stricter gun control. An estimated additional 250,000 people marched in satellite rallies around the country.

Dees-Thomases had started organizing the year earlier, after a shooting at a summer camp in Granada Hills in Southern California that injured five people, including three children.

The marchers were joined by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), Tipper Gore and Rosie O’Donnell, among other celebrities. The U.S. Conference of Mayors presented a “wall of death” displaying the name of 4,001 victims of gun violence.

March for Women’s Lives

In 2004 more than half a million people marched in Washington in support of reproductive and women’s rights. Clad in hot pink, yellow and purple T-shirts and carrying signs that read “Keep Your Laws Off My Body” and “My Body, My Choice,” the demonstrators protested George W. Bush administration policies on women’s health, including his stance on funding international family planning and a law he signed banning “partial-birth” abortions.

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