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Learn

 

From 2019-2020, the US will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote.

Suffragists began their organized fight for women’s equality in 1848 when they demanded the right to vote during the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. For the next 72 years, women leaders lobbied, marched, picketed, and protested for the right to the ballot. The U.S. House of Representatives finally approved the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, on May 21, 1919. The U.S. Senate followed two weeks later, and the 19th Amendment went to the states, where it had to be ratified by 3/4ths of the-then-48 states to be added to the Constitution. By a vote of 50-47, Tennessee became the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby issued a proclamation declaring the 19th Amendment ratified and part of the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, forever protecting American women’s right to vote.

Today, more than 68 million women vote in elections because of the courageous suffragists who never gave up the fight for equality. Explore the resources below to learn more about the story of the 19th Amendment and women’s fight for the ballot.

women’s suffrage learning centers

Whether you’re a student, teacher, or life long learner, our partners at the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and the Smithsonian Institution offer the resources you need in their centralized Learning Centers to discover and explore the rich and compelling history of the suffragists’ fight for the ballot. As the official site for the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, we’ve brought all those resources together here, in one place, to share the deeply American story of courage, perseverance, and women’s right to vote.

Here’s what you’ll find:

  • From the National Archives, teacher lesson plans, photographs, textual, and other records related to suffrage fill the National Archives Catalog.

  • From the Library of Congress, view the original papers of Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and the National Woman’s Party. Teachers can explore the Library’s extensive lesson plans and suffrage images, and the musicians can browse original Suffrage Sheet Music.

  • From the National Park Service’s 19th Amendment Learning Center, resources include a crash course in suffrage history, an exploration of women’s right to vote, and world-class teacher lesson plans, just to name a few.

  • From the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), biographies, essays, and videos explore the relationship between Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the connections between suffragists and abolitionists, and offer first-hand interviews with suffragists.

  • And from the Smithsonian Institution, original suffrage artifacts are used to explore the full history of voting rights in the U.S., including an in-depth look into Native American voting rights, the exploration of what it takes to amend the Constitution, and much more.

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EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS

We’re answering your questions! Produced by us, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, these short clips will help you better understand the sometimes complex but always compelling suffrage story. In our first videos, we investigate the difference between a suffragist and a suffragette, and tell the full story behind Tennessee’s War of the Roses. And coming soon: why did it take so long for American women to have the right to vote? Were Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass really friends? Join us on our Suffrage Sisters Youtube Channel and you’ll learn the answers to these questions and more!

 
 
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FEATURED Partner RESOURCES

Looking for a place to start your journey into the suffrage story? Explore below and discover a few of our favorite resources from our partners at the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and the Smithsonian Institution!

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Additional Resources

WSCC Suffrage Historian Database

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission keeps an up-to-date database of our country’s foremost experts in women’s suffrage history. Listed here are the great writers and tellers of women’s history, and we celebrate their contributions to our collective story. We invite you to review the database and contact a historian in your area for your panel, program, event, or commemoration.

Schlesinger Library Women’s Suffrage Collection

Featuring archival collections as well as periodicals, photographs, posters, and memorabilia from Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Jeanette Rankin, and the Blackwell Family, just to name a few, Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library has one of the most expansive collections of original suffrage materials in the world.

Crusade for the Vote: Women’s Suffrage Resource Center

A collection of the best teacher resources, primary sources, and recommended readings on the American women’s suffrage movement available on the web, the Crusade for the Vote Resource Center is the work of the National Women’s History Museum.

2020 WVCI Suffrage Learning Center

Across the country, America’s leading thinkers have created suffrage articles, videos, biographies, lesson plans, fact sheets, and timelines. 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative (2020 WVCI) has gathered those resources together in its Learning Center to help you discover the stories of the tireless advocates who secured the passage of the 19th Amendment.