JULY 28, 1879–DECEMBER 22, 1966
Lucy Burns was born in New York City in 1879. She was a teacher and dedicated suffragist. In 1909, she met British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst, and decided to join the movement in the United States.
Burns is remembered for her work with Alice Paul. The two partners led the most radical branch of the American women’s suffrage movement, believing that mainstream suffragist organizations like the National American Woman Suffrage Association were not taking dramatic enough action. Together, they founded the National Women’s Party (NWP). The NWP worked for the ratification of a women’s suffrage amendment to the US Constitution. Burns, Paul, and other members of the NWP protested outside the White House, went on hunger strikes (refusing to eat until their demands were met), and were arrested and jailed for demonstrating.
After the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, Burns retired from the women’s rights movement. Her years of passionate campaigning had left her exhausted. She lived the rest of her life quietly, dying in 1966 at age 87.
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