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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly


Sage Publications, Inc.

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On the night of November 14, 1917, 31 suffragists and members of the National Woman’s Party (“NWP”) were taken to Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia and tortured and beaten. This so-called “Night of Terror” captured national headlines at the time and has been memorialized through digital sites today. This article examines versions of the Night of Terror from the NWP’s official newspaper, The Suffragist, national newspapers of the day gathered from the Chronicling America database, and modern digital memorials of the event to understand the ways that the mediated telling of events create the fractured popular memories that are retold as the authoritative version of events. In the case of the Night of Terror, the NWP’s media strategies appealed strongly to pathos and captured public imagination then and now, making these retellings the narrative embedded in history as the authoritative version.