Feb. 14, 2010,
90th Birthday of women's suffrage
Leagues throughout the country celebrated our 90th birthday on Feb. 14, 2010. The celebration continud throughout 2010.
On February 14, 1920, with passage of the 19th amendment imminent, suffragists met to transform the movement into the League of Women Voters to help educate women to be responsible voters. On August 26, 1920, just days after Tennessee became the thirty-sixth (and last- needed) state to ratify the amendment, the Secretary of State signed the proclamation enacting the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.
Because of this important history, the League of Women Voters, more than any other organization, owns August 26th, Women's Equality Day, and should be celebrating it every year - especially in 2010, the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. While we will be celebrating the League's 90th anniversary all through 2009 2010, we give August 26, 2010, equal importance involving everyone in our communities, not just League members.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others first seriously proposed women's right to vote at Seneca Falls, N.Y., on July 19, 1848. Prior to this time, Susan B. Anthony was active in the women's temperance movement, but when she met Stanton in 1851, they joined forces and worked together over the next half of the century and what a force they were. Although they both died before the goal was reached, they lived long enough to see significant progress and were primarily responsible for the ultimate success. Carrie Chapman Catt, founder and early leader of the League of Women Voters, younger than Anthony and Stanton, entered the struggle later and became a leader in the suffragist movement that helped lead it to victory with passage of the 19th amendment in 1920.
Of course, the first local League was the one in Wichita, KS.
League's Mission - Educate Current and Future Generations on the History
The sacrifices our leaders made to win the right to vote for women is amazing and one that few people recognize today. In most cases, they devoted their lives to the movement. Becoming public advocates at the time for this or any movement, meant that they were living lives and playing roles in a totally unconventional, unacceptable, inappropriate manner to many they were pariahs. It is impossible to even conceive of how difficult their lives were, what hardships they endured public humiliation, terms in jail, ridicule and they did it so that the women of yesterday, today and tomorrow can exercise their right to vote.