ERA Sash & Button, 1978 March on Washington

This is a wonderful part of history, NOW organized over 100,000 people to march on Washington, July 9, 1978. This March for Equality was the largest in feminist history to date.

In the 1980's the second wave of feminists focused more on economic and social issues and the Equal Rights Amendment was one of their goals, it never passed. Women's Lib was in the news everyday in the late 60's.

This came out of an Evanston, IL estate. Evanston is / was the home of the Women's Temperance League and figures prominently in winning the vote for women.

The banner or sash and pin back are in great shape. The sash is a bit creased and has a few holes in it from the pin back, it was obviously worn on several occasions. The button looks great from the front, little or no rust on the back, 2 & 1/8" in diameter.

The button was made in West Orange, NJ.

The sash is gold with purple lettering (suffragist colors), "National ERA March '78"

Section 1. Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.

In May 1976, the National Organization of Women (NOW) brought 16,000 supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) to march in Washington. In 1977, 4,000 people marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1978, NOW organized over 100,000 people to march on Washington.

This March for Equality was the largest in feminist history to date. Marchers struggled through 95 degree heat to hear NOW President Smeal and other leaders speak on behalf of the ERA. Women from diverse backgrounds marched in a sea of purple, gold and white banners (reflecting the suffragist colors), to press for an extension of the time limit on ratifying the ERA — which they won. The ERA was defeated in 1982 — three states short of ratification.

The ERA has been re-introduced in Congress every year since 1985. NOW did not organize another major march until the March for Women's Lives in 1986 when over 120,000 women and men demonstrated in Washington, D.C. Marches for abortion rights continued in the years to come with a record breaking crowd of 750,000 in the 1992 March for Women's Lives.

Item ID: lgv2519

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