2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, a milestone of democracy. Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest.
https://www.womensvote100.org/ is the official site commemorating this centennial celebration.
On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified into the U.S. Constitution, forever protecting American women’s right to vote and this is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day. As the centerpiece of its centennial commemorations and in recognition of this pivotal chapter in the story of American democracy, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission worked with Congress to designate August 2020 as National Women’s Suffrage Month.
New Jersey has a rich history in the suffrage movement, joining the federal pursuit of women’s right to vote. It became the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote on February 9, 1920.
For more information on the history of women’s suffrage in NJ including a timeline and biographies of suffragists like Alice Paul, and for additional resources on the national level women’s suffrage movement please visit https://discovernjhistory.org/njwomenvote2020/
The Library of Congress is having a special exhibit from June to September–”Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.”
Here is a sampling of books and ebooks in the Library’s collection that can help you explore the exciting and inspiring stories and figures behind one of the greatest political battles in American history that led to this milestone achievement in women’s struggle for equality.
Alice Paul made a significant impact on both the woman’s suffrage movement–the long struggle for votes for women–to the “second wave,” when women demanded full equality with men. After women won the vote in 1920, Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would make all the laws that discriminated against women unconstitutional.
In this heroic narrative), discover the inspiring and timely account of the complex relationship between leading suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in her fight for women’s equality.
Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Voteby Ellen Carol Dubois
This exciting history explores the full scope of the movement to win the vote for women through portraits of its bold leaders and devoted activists. In vivid prose DuBois describes suffragists’ final victories in Congress and state legislatures, culminating in the last, most difficult ratification, in Tennessee. DuBois follows women’s efforts to use their voting rights to win political office, increase their voting strength, and pass laws banning child labor, ensuring maternal health, and securing greater equality for women.
Votes for Women!American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling
From Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who founded the suffrage movement at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, to Sojourner Truth and her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, to Alice Paul, arrested and force-fed in prison, this is the story of the American women’s suffrage movement and the private lives that fueled its leaders’ dedication.
The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss
The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.
The Women’s Suffrage Movement edited by Sally Wagner
Comprised of historical texts spanning two centuries, this is a comprehensive and singular volume that covers the major issues and figures involved in the movement, with a distinctive focus on diversity, incorporating race, class, and gender, and illuminating minority voices.
-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian