AMERICA 250

Inspiring the American spirit within all Americans and each American, grounded in our nation’s founding principles, for our continuing journey toward a more perfect Union. The Commission’s official commemorative period will run from 2020 to 2027.

america250.org

© Library of Congress.

HERMITAGE HOTEL

In August of 1920, Tennessee’s 33 Senators and 99 Representatives came to Nashville for a special session called by the Governor. At stake was a hotly contested issue of national importance - the women’s right to vote. The Hermitage Hotel had been a headquarters for state politics since it opened in 1910. Just a block from the magnificent state Capitol, both Pro- and Anti-Suffrage groups headquartered at the hotel for six weeks leading up to the final vote.

thehermitagehotel.com

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE

“Never was justice more perfect; never was civilization higher,” suffrage leader Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote about the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy, whose territory extended throughout New York State.

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CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT'S LIFELONG FIGHT FOR WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

When Carrie Lane Chapman Catt was 13-years-old and living in rural Charles City, Iowa, she witnessed something that would help to decide the course of her life. Her family was politically active and on Election Day in 1872, Carrie’s father and some of the male hired help were getting ready to head into town to vote. She asked her mother why she wasn’t getting dressed to go too. Her parents laughingly explained to their daughter that women couldn’t vote.

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"PRISON SPECIAL" TOUR

As the starting location of the suffrage “Prison Special” tour in February 1919, Union Station in Washington, D.C. played an important role in the American suffrage movement. The “Prison Special” was a train tour organized by suffragists who had been jailed for picketing the White House in support of the federal women’s suffrage amendment.

© National Women's Party.

"I AM WHAT YOU CALL A HOOLIGAN"

Emmeline Pankhurst announced to the standing-room only crowd of women packed into Carnegie Hall in October 1909. The American suffrage and labor activists in attendance cheered as Mrs. Pankhurst regaled the audience with stories about the fight to win the vote for British women.

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© Library of Congress.

ALICE PAUL'S CRUSADE

Born January 11, 1885, in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Paul was the daughter of strict Quakers, raised in a home where music was forbidden. It remains a mystery how such a sheltered young woman could burst so suddenly into the wider world, driven by a fierce craving to transform society.

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© Library of Congress.

SHOULD WE CARE WHAT THE MEN DID?

Imagine what it must have meant for “the thinking men of our country, the brains of our colleges, of commerce and literature,” in suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt’s phrase, to involve themselves with such gusto in a campaign designed to dilute their preeminence at the ballot box.

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© Library of Congress.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

In the book Creativity and Persistence: Art that Fueled the Fight for Women's Suffrage, to be released in August 2020, the National Endowment for the Arts commemorates how the arts were critical to the ultimate success of the women’s suffrage movement—just as they have been critical to countless social and political movements before and since. The arts—from poetry to visual arts to fashion—have a unique ability to serve as a rallying cry, disseminating messages across large audiences, and inspiring us in a way that few other things can. The book’s manuscript file is available upon request.

arts.gov

SONG SUFFRAGETTES

The WSCC has partnered with the Nashville based all-female singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes, to host livestreamed weekly performances from The Listening Room every Monday in August at 7pm (ET) in celebration of the centennial. Enjoy the inspiring musical stylings of some local Nashville legends-in-the-making!

Click here for details on the artist lineup

JEANETTE RANKIN: ONE WOMAN, ONE VOTE

Only one woman in American history – Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin – ever cast a ballot in support of the 19th Amendment. In 1916, Rankin represented the citizens of Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she wanted American women nationwide to enjoy the benefits of suffrage.

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© Library of Congress.

NATIONAL VOTES FOR WOMEN TRAIL

A project of The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, The National Votes for Women Trail is collecting sites from all over our country to allow us to tell the untold story of suffrage for all women, of all ethnicities, that extends well past the passage of the 19th amendment. We currently have 44 State Coordinators and over 1000 sites on our database, which continues to grow at a rapid pace. Our partner, The William G. Pomeroy Foundation, is complementing our efforts with the donation of 250 historic roadside markers nationally.

ncwhs.org

© Library of Congress.

FORWARD INTO LIGHT

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote, buildings and landmarks across the country will light up in purple and gold on August 26, 2020 as part of the nationwide Forward Into Light Campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.” Join us as we celebrate this milestone of American democracy in the official suffrage colors — from state capitols to skyscrapers to bridges to city halls!

womensvote100.org/forwardintolight

© Library of Congress.

A NOBLE ENDEAVOR: IDA B WELLS-BARNETT & SUFFRAGE

On the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was in a Washington, D.C. drill rehearsal hall with sixty-four other Illinois suffragists. She was there representing the Alpha Suffrage Club.

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FRAUGHT FRIENDSHIP: SUSAN B. ANTHONY & FREDERICK DOUGLASS

Throughout the tumultuous second half of the nineteenth century, these friends, nearly the same age, butted heads more than once. Because they were people of strong convictions, their pursuits sometimes overlapped and sometimes collided.

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© Library of Congress.

SUFFRAGE IN SPANISH: HISPANIC WOMEN AND THE FIGHT FOR THE 19TH AMENDMENT IN NEW MEXICO

New Mexico's Hispanic women's advocacy of suffrage and their work with the National Woman's Party reminds us that Spanish was also a language of suffrage. Armed with economic security and the political clout of long-established Spanish-speaking families, New Mexico’s Hispanic women represented a formidable political force.

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© National Women's Party.

SISTER-WIVES & SUFFRAGISTS: MORMONISM AND THE WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

Mormon women’s status as polygamous female voters thrust the national women’s suffrage movement into the center of one of the most far-reaching political and legal questions of its day.

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© Library of Congress.

THE PREQUEL: WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE BEFORE 1848

Most suffrage histories begin in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. While Seneca Falls remains an important marker, women had been agitating for this basic right of citizenship even before.

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NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

While women were not always united in their goals, and the fight for women’s suffrage was complex and interwoven with issues of civil and political rights for all Americans, the efforts of women like Ida B. Wells and Alice Paul led to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Signed into law on August 26, 1920, the passage of the 19th Amendment was the result of decades of work by tens of thousands across the country who worked for change.

nps.gov

ZITKALA-ŠA

The story of Indigenous women’s participation in the struggle for women’s suffrage is highly complex, and Zitkala-Ša’s story provides an illuminating example.

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GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA

Edith Wiseman Carpenter Macy (1871-1925) chaired the Girl Scouts National Executive Board from 1919 until her unexpected death in 1925. Juliette Gordon Low called her “an evenly balanced woman” who “really was the pivot that kept our whole organization in harmony.” She founded the Westchester County Girl Scout Council and was well known for her extensive charity work. Active in suffrage and later in the League for Women Voters, her husband shared her progressive views. In her memory, he donated 200 acres and $100,000 toward what became the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, New York, which still hosts Girl Scout training programs today.

girlscouts.org

HIGHLIGHT SKYDIVING

Our question.. How could we use skydiving to capture attention to magnify this message? How could we use skydiving to inspire women and girls to live bold brave lives of their own design? In 2020, we will be doing jumps celebrating the 19th amendment centennial across America. In coming years, Highlight intends to magnify other messages that matter, partnering with social impact groups we align with and large-scale outdoor events looking to attract media attention for our shared missions.

highlightskydiving.com

ALICE PAUL, WOODROW WILSON, AND THE BATTLES FOR LIBERTY

President-elect Woodrow Wilson’s train pulled into Washington’s Union Station on March 3, 1913. It was a day that launched an epic eight-year, David-and-Goliath struggle between Alice Paul and Wilson over the very definition of democracy and American values.

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© Library of Congress.

MARY CHURCH TERRELL

Born into slavery in Memphis, Tennessee during the Civil War, Mary Church Terrell became a civil rights activist and suffrage leader. Coming of age during and after Reconstruction, she understood through her own lived experiences that African-American women of all classes faced similar problems, and she worked tirelessly for racial justice and gender equality.

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© Library of Congress.

MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE

Mary McLeod Bethune -- educator, club woman, and stateswoman -- asserted the universality of equality in and through all things. Her contributions to the women’s suffrage movement were evident in her rhetoric challenging American society to become a true democracy.

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© Smithsonian Institution.

HOW SUSAN B. ANTHONY BECAME THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE SUFFRAGIST

Over a century after her death, many even recognize her picture. In 1979, she became the first woman whose portrait appeared on a circulating coin in the United States. How did Anthony’s face become so visible?

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© Library of Congress.

MABEL PING-HUA LEE

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was a feminist pioneer. She was the first Chinese woman in the United States to earn her doctorate and an advocate for the rights of women and the Chinese community in America.

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© Library of Congress.

THE GREAT SUFFRAGE PARADE OF 1913

On the afternoon of March 3, 1913, the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson as the nation’s 28th president, thousands of suffragists gathered near the Garfield monument in front of the U.S. Capitol.

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"ALL MEN AND WOMEN ARE CREATED EQUAL" THE LIFE OF ELIZABETH CADY STANTON

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the leading activist-intellectual of the nineteenth-century movement that demanded women’s rights, including the right to education, property, and a voice in public life.

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© Library of Congress.

TURNING POINT SUFFRAGIST MEMORIAL

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission is excited to announce that the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in Lorton, Virginia will include a historic section of White House fence in front of which women protested for the right to vote over 100 years ago. The commission is partnering with the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association to complete the memorial in 2020.

NASHVILLE CELEBRATION

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution. 100 years later, the WSCC is celebrating this critical milestone of American democracy with a full day of virtual events and commemorations in honor of the state that sealed the deal on suffrage.

AND NOTHING LESS

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission is excited to announce that the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in Lorton, Virginia will include a historic section of White House fence in front of which women protested for the right to vote over 100 years ago. The commission is partnering with the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association to complete the memorial in 2020.

Check out every podcast episode here!

THE MAGIC SASH

The Magic Sash is a journey back in time hosted by gold medal gymnast and advocate Aly Raisman. Join Lotty and Isaiah, two very modern fifth graders, as they meet iconic heroes of the movement for women’s right to vote and experience big moments in women’s suffrage first-hand. They’ll learn that what women and men fought for — women’s full political equality — isn’t dusty history at all. Enjoy this seven-part children’s podcast from the WSCC, the National Park Service, TRAX from PRX, and Gen-Z Media.

Check out every podcast episode here!

THE VERY QUEER HISTORY OF THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

When lawyer and suffragist Gail Laughlin discovered that her evening gown had no pockets in it, she refused to wear it until the pockets were sewn on. Objecting to the restrictive nature of women’s clothing was just one of the ways that suffragists sought to upend the status quo in the early twentieth century.

Check out the full article here!