Woman Suffrage Centennial
Rightfully Hers Popup Display
Rightfully Hers displays history of the ratification of the 19th amendment, women's voting rights.
19th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
Lyons New York…Starting July 28, 2020 a new popup exhibition from the National Archives, Rightfully Hers, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment is in the lobby of the Wayne County New York Public Safety Building, 7376 State Route 31, Lyons. The PSB houses the county Historian and the Board of Elections. Wayne County New York Historian is Peter Evans and Wayne County New York Board of Elections Republican Commissioner is John Zornow. Rightfully Hers contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th amendment, women's voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today. Despite decades of marches, petitions, and public debate to enshrine a woman's right to vote in the constitution, the 19th Amendment - while an enormous milestone - did not grant voting rights for all. The challenges of its passage reverberate to the ongoing fight for gender equity today. This exhibit runs through at least August 26, the 100th anniversary of the certification by the U.S. Secretary of State of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Rightfully Hers co-curator Jennifer N Johnson states:
"The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate, and although it enshrined in the U.S. Constitution fuller citizenship for women many remained unable to vote."
Why August 18th: In June of 1919, both house of Congress had approved the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Now all that was necessary was to have 36 states to also ratify the amendment. By the summer of 1920, 35 states had voted to approve the ratification. In Tennessee, their Senate had also approved, however, the issue raged in the Legislature. Every vote had resulted in a tie. On August 18th they were set to try again. A young representative by the name of Harry Burns had a letter from his mother, Phoebe. His mother said that she "knew he would do the right thing". Harry proceeded to cast the deciding affirmative vote in favor of ratification. With this vote, Tennessee became the 36th state to approve ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Rightfully Hers high-resolution poster versions can be downloaded online under Rightfully Hers Pop-up Display
Rightfully Hers Resource Guide (PDF) includes exhibit description on page 3.
Panel 1: Before the 19th Amendment
When the nation's founders drafted the Constitution in 1787, they made no mention of women in the document that outlined how our Government was to operate. At the time, women were generally excluded from political and, in many ways, public life. Enslaved women were excluded entirely. White women were considered under the protection and authority of their husbands or fathers. In most cases, they could not vote, own property, make contracts, go to court, or control any money they earned.
Panel 2: How Did Women Win the Vote?
To win access to the polls, a diverse group of suffragists - individuals who supported giving voting rights to women - fought for more than 70 years using many different strategies. Over time, these tactics won the political support necessary for ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.
Panel 3: A Constitutional Victory
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." 19th Amendment, August 18, 1920.
The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate. It enshrined in the United States Constitution fuller citizenship for women and a more expansive democracy for the nation.
Panel 4: What voting rights struggles persist?
Even after the 19th Amendment was ratified, millions of women remained unable to vote. The 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment has seen voting rights expanded to millions more women after struggles against voter discrimination succeeded. Even today, people continue to fight to expand and protect voting rights.
In Educator Resources on Page 9:
Browse the wealth of records and information documenting the women's rights movement in the United States, including photographs, documents, audiovisual recordings, exhibits, articles, blog posts, lectures and events. https://www.archives.gov/women
Rightfully Hers is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives has launched a nationwide initiative and major exhibition that explores the generations-long fight for universal woman suffrage. The exhibition is presented in part by the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission and the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, and Denise Gwyn Ferguson.
Wayne County Special Enrollment of Women for Primary Election, September 3rd 1918
Downloaded total book file is searchable. Individual towns alphabetical. NYS passed Woman Suffrage November 6, 1917. Needed this special enrollment to have women eligible to vote in Primary Election.
Judith Wellman, Director
Historical New York Research Associates
Professor Emerita, SUNY Oswego has provided the following research aids for Woman Suffrage in Wayne County New York:
- Studying Suffrage Wayne County Current Projects (PDF)
- Studying Suffrage Wayne County Primary Sources 06.05.2017 (PDF)
- Studying Suffrage Wayne County Secondary Sources (PDF)
A Tea Out of Time
Presented at Wayne County Historical Society 2017 September, featuring a woman from each Wayne County town and multiple decades.
They were all at a tea to hear speaker Susan B Anthony.