Five memorable Washington political protests

Bringing your grievances to Washington in the form of a mass protest is an American tradition that dates back to the late 19th century. Here are five memorable Washington protests.

1. Coxey's Army

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    A crowd gathers at the US Capitol on May 1, 1894, to wait for Coxey's Army.
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In 1894, American workers were reeling from the worst economic depression in US history to date. In what was probably the first large political demonstration in Washington, a group of jobless men called the Commonweal in Christ marched from Massillion, Ohio, to Washington, DC. Led by Socialist politician Jacob Coxey, the 500 or so men demanded that the government hire them to work on public projects. Coxey's Army was greeted by the US Army, and Coxey was arrested for walking on the grass of the United States Capitol.

Some scholars have argued that L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," is an allegory of Coxey's march .

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