March 3 – it was a date when thousands of women marched arm in arm in Washington, D.C., and filled the streets. They were assaulted, brutalized and spat upon. It was a march of immense proportion and one that lit the fire from a burning decades-long movement started by women for women.

According to the Chicago Tribune, ambulances “came and went constantly for six hours, always impeded and at times actually opposed, so that doctor and driver literally had to fight their way to give succor to the injured.”

One hundred marchers were taken to the local hospital. Before the afternoon was over, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, responding to a request from the chief of police, authorized the use of a troop of cavalry to help control the crowd.

Every woman who is an American citizen earned the right to vote because of those who braved the public streets and public forums to battle hostility and ignorance.

The Parade for Women’s Suffrage in 1913 laid the groundwork for passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution – giving each of us today the right to vote in a process that so many now take for granted or simply ignore.

The march was a pivotal moment, but the actual debate over female citizens sharing the same rights as their male counterparts lasted 70 long years before culminating in ratification in 1920. 

In the same tumultuous period for women, sororities were created and founded. No surprise that women needed a place of respite and camaraderie to band together. And it should also come as no surprise that the parade was organized by a 28-year-old woman who was exposed to the movement while working on her graduate studies in social work.

How far have we come? CNN called last year’s election “the year of the woman” as we voted to send more women to office to represent us. A record 20 women now hold U.S. Senate seats.

We are not likely to forget our measure of achievement and what it took to get to this moment in 2013.

The history of the Suffragette Movement is one we should revisit and we’re glad our member groups such as Alpha Gamma Delta have been sharing the story.

Kappa Kappa Gamma not only created an online exhibit sharing details from the late 1800s, but has also produced a traveling exhibit that has been on display at Harvard University. The exhibit can also be rented for conventions and other special historical moments to keep the story alive and memorable. 

From time to time, let’s not forget that we need to dust off the grainy and creased photos of the women who marched for us – and ahead of us.