Commemorating the 19th Amendment Centennial

Today’s post comes from Debra Steidel Wall, Deputy Archivist of the United States and Commissioner on the Congressional Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.

As the home of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives invites you to join our virtual commemoration of the centennial of the Constitutional amendment that guaranteed that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

House Joint Resolution 1 proposing the 19th amendment to the states. National Archives Identifier 596314

This August, we will explore the complex story of the struggle for women’s suffrage, leading up to and beyond the certification of the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920. The campaign for women’s suffrage was long, difficult, and often dramatic. The National Archives holds the records that help tell this story, including petitions, legislation, court cases, and more. 

Join us online as we highlight records from our holdings and examine the fight for women’s voting rights through virtual public programs for all ages.

Visit our 19th Amendment Centennial Events page to view and sign up for a full schedule of events, programs and activities. We will be adding more events and providing links as they become available.

Photograph of a Suffrage Parade in New York City. National Archives Identifier 593556

You can also visit the Women’s Rights page for a wide variety of women’s rights topics, stories from our exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, and a chance to participate in tagging and transcription missions on records related to women’s rights

Finally, from August 18 to 26, the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and many Presidential Libraries across the country will light up in purple and gold, the colors of the suffrage movement, from sunset to dawn. This lighting is part of the nationwide Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) Forward Into Light Campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Into the Light.” I am proud to represent the National Archives on this Commission, which also offers a full month of commemorative activities. 

Employees across the National Archives have been planning this commemoration for more than a year. I’m thankful for their hard work and for their resourcefulness and creativity in developing an exciting observance of this landmark event as our own current public health events changed around us. 

We are honored to be the home of the 19th Amendment and to commemorate its 100th anniversary with the American people.

One thought on “Commemorating the 19th Amendment Centennial

  1. Dear Friends at the Nat Archives. I have never encountered such a difficult website to search or use. Yes, you have lots of pamphlets, with “how to’s” on line, but I want a simple search that will take me to records information. Seems like you haven’t been using tax money to make access easier, but just adding more “marketing fluff” to take up web space and look pretty. I am trying to find a simple list of the 1835 Rev War pension applications. At this point, I would take all 20 states, not just the original 13. And, please know that I have actually seen these myself at the East Point archives. Really, just put up the indexes on line, so we can see a simple list of the names you have, what war, and what state they put in their request. It’s not rocket science! We just need to know if they actually fought, before we order your Priceless xerox of the record!!!!!!!. Sorry, but I am a big data manager for a large corporation, and I am not impressed with your “big boxes” process. And, please, don’t take up your time to craft a “customer service” reply via email, just put together some searchable lists of the most “obvious” soldiers by last name and state that could be useful to real families.

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