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Celebrate 101 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

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Celebrate 101 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

Meet Victoria Claflin Woodhull and Nannie Helen Burroughs, two suffragists

Before August passes by, we want to honor and celebrate 101 years of women’s right to vote. As you probably know, this all started back on June 4, 1919 when the language for a 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress. The next step was for the amendment to be ratified by 36 state legislatures.

The final state, Tennessee, ratified the amendment on August 18, 1920. Beginning on that date women had the right to vote.

Nobody “Gave” Women the Right to Vote

Notice, I didn’t say “gave women” the right to vote because tens of thousands of women worked hard to achieve their goal. They marched, protested, spoke, and educated both women and men about the need for suffrage. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest.
So go ahead and celebrate 101 years of women’s right to vote. Just remember that suffrage, like many important causes, requires work.

But Not All Women

The 19th amendment prohibited states from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. It said nothing about Jim Crow laws in effect at the time that denied African Americans, both males and females, the right to vote for a number of reasons. So while white women could vote beginning in late 1920, many Black American females could not vote until after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Let’s Also Celebrate 50 Years of Women’s Equality Day

In 1971, Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day to celebrate our accomplishment. It is perhaps more accurate to say it is the celebration of achieving advancement of women’s rights towards quality with men. The day is hopefully used to create an awareness of progress made and progress to be made.

Who Called for Women’s Equality Day?

If you are old enough, you may recall the name of Bella Abzug from New York. She was known as a no-nonsense women who was fierce in defending her beliefs. She was often called “Battling Bella”. Bella was known for always wearing a large hat. It was her signature look. But when the Sergeant at Arms of the US House of Representatives asked Bella to remove her hat, she did. Her supporters could not believe this and asked her why? She replied, “I choose my battles.”

We have Women’s Equality Day thanks to Congresswoman Bella Abzug. She introduced a resolution to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. Nixon was the first president to issue a proclamation to declare August 26 Women’s Equality Day. Nixon wrote in his proclamation:

“The struggle for women’s suffrage, however, was only the first step toward full and equal participation of women in our Nation’s life. In recent years, we have made other giant strides by attacking sex discrimination through our laws and by paving new avenues to equal economic opportunity for women. Today, in virtually every sector of our society, women are making important contributions to the quality of American life. And yet, much still remains to be done”.

And that was 1972. There have been setbacks as well as steps forward since then. But all of us can make a difference — both in our own lives as well as in the lives of others.

Rosie the Riveter and Wendy the Welder are Also Beneficiaries of the Suffrage Movement

Rosie the Riveter OrnamentWe’ve been accomplishing the seemingly impossible ever since.

During WW2, we saw so many women excel. For example, Rosie the Riveter is a product of the suffragists. She accomplished so much to support the war effort, knowing her actions of courage and strength were made possible by her role in civilian life.


CAN DO Woman - Wendy the Welder Ornaments

Meet Wendy the Welder, Rosie the Riveter’s Cousin

Don’t forget Wendy the Welder. She’s another woman who showed empowerment through her work in shipyards and aircraft factories.

These, of course, are only two of the millions of CAN DO women who inspire us every day to reach our potential.

YES! You Are Also a Beneficiary of the Suffrage Movement

Please, take a moment out of your busy day to thank the suffragists who fought for your right to vote. And then reflect on you own accomplishments.


We congratulate you and know that you will do even more in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. For now, remember…

We Did It! … And We’ll Keep on Moving Forward and Making Progress.

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Matilda ButlerCelebrate 101 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

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  • Ann Hart - September 1, 2021 reply

    Thank you for this. I celebrated with my RosieCentral sash and rosette. Loved it.

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