Votes for Women!
This year is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. It was originally approved by Congress on June 4, 1919, but it took until August 18, 1920 for ratification to be completed.
Here is a list of some resources that can help you learn more about the amendment and a few ways to celebrate this landmark achievement.
These resources contain plenty of portraits, art, and campaign material from the period, personal stories, essays, ephemera, and more, all of which can paint a picture of the struggle women went through to get this amendment passed (and sometimes the men who joined the fight). Many of the resources include the contributions of women of color, as well, including photos and resources about people like Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth. Others include the continuing effects of women’s right to vote, and our continued battle for equality.
Some of these are online exhibits that accompanied (or still accompany) in-person exhibits, which you might be able to visit if you’re in the area. Some of the resources are national, some very local. And some relate to state history and state-based suffrage.
(Be sure you double check that you’re registered to vote to be able to exercise your own suffrage rights.)
The Smithsonian Institution
Votes for Women includes images and memorabilia from across The Smithsonian’s collections.
National Portrait Gallery
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence allows you to see images from this past exhibit at the museum.
The National Archives
The National Archives Museum
Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote has information about the in-person exhibit as well as plenty of online exhibits.
The National Archives Foundation
Amending America: 19th Amendment gives more information about visiting the exhibit in person.
19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women’s Right to Vote (1920) includes images and text of the original amendment as well as a lesson plan for educators.
National Archives: Educator Resources
Women Suffrage and the 19th Amendment includes letters, photos, and other official government documents relating to the amendment for use by educators.
America’s Historical Documents
19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women’s Right to Vote includes the amendment itself and information about this important primary source.
National Archives: Women’s Rights
Women’s Rights: Suffrage includes educational resources, research information, and articles on the topic.
National Archives Social Media Campaigns
Commemorative Calendar for the 19th Amendment unfolds 12 stories about the suffrage movement as the year goes on.
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress Research Guides
19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Primary Documents in American History is a research guide with primary sources for the amendment and related topics.
The Library of Congress Primary Documents
Primary Documents in American History: 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a web guide containing many primary sources on the topic.
The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Reading Room
Votes for Women: The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage has selected images from the suffrage movement from the collections of the Library of Congress.
Other Federal Resources
The National Park Service
19th Amendment: This site includes stories of those who fought for women’s suffrage, essays, storymaps, and lesson plans.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park, New York
The 19th Amendment: 100 Years is a treasure trove of resources on the topic.
The 19th Amendment: A Crash Course is just what it says it is. This is a great resource to start with if you need context.
The U.S. House of Representatives
The First Women in Congress: Votes for Women is an online exhibit about women in Congress and women’s suffrage.
The U.S. Capitol
Securing Woman Suffrage includes plenty of artifacts from the time. Click the right arrow to page through and learn more.
Other Non-Federal Resources
Vote for Women: A Century of Suffrage has a particularly compelling collection of articles, with The ‘Undesirable Militants’ Behind the Nineteenth Amendment as one of them.
The New York Times
The Complex History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement talks about exhibits in Washington, D.C.
2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative
2020 Centennial has imagery, news, quizzes, exhibits, and more about the centennial and women’s rights.
Brandywine River Museum of Art
Votes for Women: A Visual History gives information on their exhibit, through June 7, 2020.
Articles on 100 Years of Votes for Women has a long list of important articles about suffragette history.
There are also plenty of state-oriented websites, as many states introduced women’s suffrage before the ratification of the 19th amendment, especially in western states.
Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial deals with the fight in New York as well as the continued fight for women’s rights to this day.
California Women Suffrage Centennial deals with California’s centennial of their suffrage bill in 1911.
Votes for Women includes plenty of illustrations from the fight for women’s suffrage.
Primary Source Sets: Women’s Suffrage deals with the vote in Iowa and around the country.
There are countless books already written on the topic as well.
What will you do to mark this important anniversary? I know what I’ll be doing: I’ll be voting!!