Celebrating the 19th Amendment
We had planned to feature a special screening of Iron Jawed Angels to mark the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Even though it was cancelled (because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic), we feel it is important to acknowledge this momentous day in history.
On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, finally guaranteeing women the right to vote. It was passed by Congress June 4, 1919 and ratified on August 18, 1920. This landmark amendment ended nearly 100 years of protests from the suffrage movement, as women fought for this fundamental right of citizenship.
Interestingly, prior to the 19th Amendment 15 states and the Alaska territory allowed women to vote and their example helped to build momentum for the 19th Amendment. As we look back over the last 100 years we can clearly see this was only the beginning. Regrettably, our complicated history shows it did not grant all women the right to vote due to the passage of racist laws and restrictions against women of color. These injustices were eventually addressed in 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Without the strength and determination of our female ancestors who led the fight well over 100 years ago, we would not have progressed to where we are today. The 19th Amendment helped millions of women move closer to equality in all aspects of American life.