Fairfax County, Virginia, is the site of possibly the most significant moment in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States.
In 1917, more than 70 suffragists were imprisoned in the Occoquan Workhouse, then part of the Lorton Prison complex, in retaliation for picketing the Woodrow Wilson White House for the right to vote. The reports of inhumane conditions, beatings and force-feeding at the workhouse electrified the country and became the “turning point” in the struggle for the 19th Amendment.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Committee is working with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) to raise funds to erect a suffragist memorial to commemorate the struggle of these women and educate future generations.
The launch of the first phase is 2010 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment:
Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Ratified August 19, 1920
Help us pay tribute to the suffragists.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and donations in support of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial are charitable contributions deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law. Thank you for your support.
Prefer to donate by mail? Click here for mailing instructions. For questions you may telephone 703-830-1355.
Suffragist of the Month
This is the historical marker identifying the original site of the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Va. According to The Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, this marker was the first to recognize civil or women's rights. Championed by the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area, it was initially erected in 1982 in celebration of the first national Women's History Week. It now stands at the entrance of the Griffith Water Treatment Plant that occupies the former workhouse site.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will be located across the street in Occoquan Regional Park.
Learn more about the history of the suffragist movment.