Vida Milholland

Lived:January 17, 1888—November 29, 1952 (aged 64)

For more information about her sister, Inez Milholland, visit her profile here:

Vida Milholland was a suffragist, peace activist and performer.

Milholland was born on January 17, 1888, to wealthy philanthropists John E. Milholland and Jean Torry. Along with her sister, Inez, she got involved in activism early on when she studied at Vassar College. Although she had aspirations of becoming an opera singer, Milholland gave it up in 1910 to become a full-time suffragist.

Milholland and her sister toured the United States under the direction of Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party in a bid to defeat President Woodrow Wilson’s reelection efforts. After her sister’s death in 1916, Vida Milholland became even more motivated to make suffrage the law of the land. Milholland was arrested for picketing the White House on July 4, 1917. During her three-day sentence, she sang to keep up the spirits of her fellow inmates. A few months later, she climbed the walls of the prison in which Alice Paul was being held to sing to her.

Milholland participated in many parades and pageants both before and after suffrage was won, including the 1924 “Forward into Light Parade.” She worked with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom along with her political partner, Peg Hamilton, to lobby for peace.

After the death of her father and brother, Milholland left public life to take care of the estate on her own. She died on November 29, 1952.

Goodier, Susan. “Biographical Sketch of Vida Milholland.” Biographical Sketch of Vida Milholland | Alexander Street Documents. Alexander Street. Accessed January 23, 2020.

“Vida Milholland (1889 – 1952).” Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Accessed January 23, 2020.