Timeline: 1910s


1910s graphic

Thumbs UpIn 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns work toward the passage of a constitutional amendment to give women the vote. The group is later renamed the National Women's Party.

Thumbs Up 17th Amendment ratified in 1913 allows Senate to be elected directly by the people instead of state legislatures.

Thumbs UpMother Jones demonstrates on behalf of women's rights, prison rights and steelworkers' rights.

Thumbs Up In 1913, Department of Labor is formed to protect the rights of workers. A year later, Clayton Antitrust Act legalizes nonviolent strikes and boycotts.

In 1914, Margaret Sanger calls for legalization of contraceptives in her monthly newsletter The Woman Rebel, which the Post Office bans as obscene.

Thumbs DownCalifornia law prevents aliens ineligible for citizenship from owning land.

Thumbs Up“Grandfather clauses” used in South to block black voting declared unconstitutional in 1915.

Thumbs Up In 1915, Supreme Court upholds law banning any film that is not of a “moral, educational, or harmless and amusing character.” States quickly set up movie censorship boards.

Thumbs UpOct. 16, 1916: Margaret Sanger opens the first U.S. birth-control clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y. Clinic is shut down 10 days later, and Sanger is jailed. In 1918, she wins court appeals.

NAACP protests D.W. Griffith's film “Birth of a Nation” for its negative portrayal of blacks.

Thumbs UpSelective Service Act, 1917, gives president power to draft men for military service.

Thumbs UpDuring WWI women take heavy industry jobs in mining, chemical manufacturing, auto, and railway plants. They also run street cars, conduct trains, direct traffic, and deliver mail.

Thumbs UpJeanette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to Congress in 1917.

Thumbs UpIn 1918, Sedition Act is added to the Espionage Act of 1917. It prohibits speech, writing, or publications critical of the form of government. More than 2,000 people are convicted. Later, courts uphold “clear and present danger” standard: speech that threatens national security can be censored.

In 1919, a record 4 million workers strike. A strike by Boston police is the first ever by public safety workers.