On August 26, 2020, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the certification on the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment states that the right to vote cannot be denied on account of a citizen’s sex. It gave 26 million American women the right to vote. Unfortunately, some women were still denied the vote because of their race or ethnicity. So this was an important beginning, but much more needed to be done.
In 1973, U.S. Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a resolution to make August 26 Women’s Equality Day. Her resolution was passed by Congress on August 16, 1973. Every year since then, each U.S. President has proclaimed August 26 as Women’s Equality Day, honoring women’s voting rights and recognizing that work toward full equality for women is progressing, but not yet complete.
In August 2020, the Oregon Women’s History Consortium(OWHC) is encouraging Oregonians to decorate their sidewalks and stairs. In 1913, sidewalk chalk messages were used by women demanding the right to vote. In 2020, we celebrate the many times when our nation has expanded the right to vote to more and more citizens. We love this idea for having fun while highlighting the importance of the vote! #ChalkTheVoteOR
This fun project fits the LWV mission!
Defending voting rights is central to the mission of the League of Women Voters: “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.” Our democracy depends on voter participation! Let’s continue the fight to expand the right to vote and to combat voter suppression. We hope you will also speak out for voting rights with chalk messages on your sidewalk.
As the OWHC notes:
The year 2020 is the:
150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment (removed race, color or prior servitude from denying voting rights)
100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (removed sex from denying voting rights)
56th anniversary of the 24th Amendment (ended the poll tax)
55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (prohibited racial discrimination in voting)
49thanniversary of the 26th Amendment: right to vote cannot be denied on account of age for those 18 or older (This amendment has roots in an Oregon legal case, Oregon v. Mitchell, 1970)
The week for writing chalk messages is August 23-29th. August 26th is the day the 19th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution. To learn more about #ChalktheVoteOR, click here.
On Tuesday, June 4, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the US Senate’s approval of the 19th Amendment. This amendment to the US Constitution says, “”The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied…on account of sex.” It became effective on August 26, 1920, after three fourths of the states ratified it. During the next year, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will be sharing stories on social media using the hashtag #19thAt100. The League of Women Voters will explore the full history of 19th Amendment. We know that it was an incomplete victory. For many women, the fight for suffrage continued. Even now, the League is continuing our work to protect the voting rights of all Americans.
On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our founding. (Read more about our history here.) As we look back on 100 years of achievements, we also will look forward. Our volunteers are working every day to help shape a better future for all.