During World War I, wartime inflation severely taxed the limited budgets of working-class families. Although wages also rose during the war, they could not keep up with prices. On February 20, 1917, after confronting pushcart peddlers who were charging exorbitant rates for necessities, thousands of women marched to New York’s City Hall to demand relief. The “food riot” precipitated a boycott campaign that eventually forced pushcart prices down. Women in Boston and Philadelphia took similar action.
Source: National Archives.