Women’s Equality Day
On August 26th, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day. This date was chosen because it is the date on which the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women in the United States the right to vote. The passage of the 19th Amendment was the culmination of many decades of work by countless women. Some of the most notable activists in the suffrage movement were: Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Julia Ward Howe, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Many of these women worked as passionately for abolition as they did for voting rights.
Women’s Equality Day has been observed since 1971, when Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a joint resolution of Congress designating this day as the official observance. This resolution called for the president to make an official proclamation on this date to acknowledge the passage of 19th Amendment. Every president since 1971 has done so.
- National Women’s History Project : Women’s Equality Day
- Womens Rights National Historical Park — Discover How Five Women Changed the World at this National Parks Service Web site.
- National Organization for Women (NOW) — News and legislative updates, information on current campaigns and events, links to local chapters and more from this national organization advocating for women’s rights.
- The Equal Rights Amendment — An overview of the ERA, including its significance, history, and ratification status.
Women’s Suffrage and the 19th Amendment
- Women’s Suffrage Biographies — Brief “biographies of key women who worked for woman suffrage” from About.com.
- The Seneca Falls Convention, July 19-20, 1848 — A brief history of this seminal event in the Women’s Right Movement from the Smithsonian Institution.
- Modern History Sourcebook:
The Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls Conference, 1848 — This important document, drafted during the Seneca Falls Convention, called for women’s equality in all aspects of life, including the right to vote and was very controversial at the time.
- Votes for Women: The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage — “Selected Images From the Collections of the Library of Congress”
- American Suffragist Movement Timeline — A timeline of the Suffragist Movement from “A History of the American Suffragist Movement.”
- Women’s fight for the vote: the Nineteenth Amendment — Historical background on the 19th Amendment, including related readings and court cases from the University of Missouri Law School’s “Exploring Constitutional Law” project
- Modern History Sourcebook: The Passage of the 19th Amendment, 1919-1920 — Articles from The New York Times documenting the passage of the 19th Amendment (Fordham University)