An exciting new committee of the League of Women Voters of Sussex County was formed this year to plan how to appropriately mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women throughout the country the right to vote. The 19th Amendment Celebration planning committee has been hard at work developing multiple ways to celebrate this special milestone. Many activities are in the works.
And look for this logo for all our 19th amendment celebrations in the coming year. Many thanks to Deb Quinton from It's a Snap Design, Lewes DE for her design.
The 19th Amendment was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. After years of struggle by women’s movement advocates to gain the vote for women, the United States Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in 1919. However, the amendment would not become part of the Constitution until it had been ratified by 36 states. Delaware missed its opportunity to become the 36th state to ratify the amendment. That honor went to Tennessee and on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution.
- To learn more about Delaware and the 19th Amendment, check out this article from Widener Law Delaware Library.
- To learn more about suffragists, read HerStory: The Women Behind the 19th Amendment by Greg Timmons.
“Dignity & Defiance: a Portrait of Mary Church Terrell”
The League of Women Voters of Sussex County and the Sussex County (DE) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., presented a compelling film documentary on the life of Mary Church Terrell, an African American suffragist and civil rights activist, on Sunday, October 13th at 2pm at the Rehoboth Beach Library. A discussion followed the 30 minute film.
Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) was an African American , educator, writer, suffragist and civil rights activist who championed racial equality and women’s suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th century.
For background information on Mary Church Terrell, check out these sources:
- Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954): Educator, Writer, Civil Rights Activist, VCU Libraries
- Library of Congress- The Terrell Papers
- The impact and legacy of Mary Church Terrell, WUSA9
- Mary Church Terrell Documentary, Speakola
Proposed League Events for 2020:
- February 22nd, Book Club, “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote" by Elaine Weiss”, Lewes Library.
- March 3rd, "Iron Jawed Angels" film shown at Del Tech in partnership with Freeman Foundation.
- March 8th 2020, International Woman’s Day March on the Circle with Freeman Foundation.
- March 25, April 1 and April 8, Film Festival, Cinema Arts Theater. Reception prior to first film with champagne and sweets.
- May 1-3, bus trip to Seneca Falls, NY (site of Seneca Falls Convention, a foundational event in the Women's Rights Movement), 2 nights hotel lodging, 1 dinner, and admission to museum. Approximately $350 per person double occupancy, bus holds 50 people.
- May 21, Clear Space will produce “Reviving the Dead Ladies”, LWVSC to arrange food and drink and promote the event.
- August 26th, 6-7:30, Woman in White parade on Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk in cooperation with the VIA.
- September 26th, 12 noon, Parade and dedication of the Suffrage Memorial at Legislative Hall in Dover
- Oct. 2020- Bus trip to Turning Point SUffragist Memorial in Occoquan Regional Park, Fairfax County, VA.
- Nov. - Dec.2020, Traveling exhibit “Rightly Hers” from the National Archives to be shown in Selbyville. The Freeman Foundation is arranging.
Check back for more details as the events are developed.
- The Lewes Library in conjunction with DE Humanities is having a Women's History Panel which will focus on the suffrage anniversary and it's impact, on Wednesday March 25, 6PM at the Lewes Library.
Delaware Calendar of Events:
Delaware Archives Women's Vote Centennial, the Delaware Centennial Subcommittee website by the Delaware Public Archives, offers a calendar of centenniel events in Delaware in addition to being a resource for 19th Amendment history.
The Suffrage Struggle in Delaware: A Brief Overview by Anne M. Boylan, University of Delaware
Delaware Women's Suffrage Timeline, by Anne M. Boylan, Delaware Humanities
Delaware Suffrage Leaders, by Anne M Boylan, University of Delaware
Delaware's Women Suffrage Campaign, by Carol E. Hoffecker in Delaware History journal
Delaware General History, from the Delaware Archives Women's Vote Centennial
Exhibits and Events on the 19th Amendment in Washington, D.C. area:
- https://www.archives.gov/women “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote exhibit” presented by the National Archives.
- https://www.loc.gov/exhibitions/women-fight-for-the-vote/about-this-exhibition/ “Shall not be denied, Women Fight for the Vote” presented by the Library of Congress. Physical and virtual exhibit.
- https://www.nps.gov/bepa/index.htm The Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument in D.C. was the epicenter of the struggle for women's rights. Designated a National Monument by President Obama in 2016.
- https://npg.si.edu/exhibition/votes-for-women “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” exhibit, at the National Portrait Gallery.
- https://www.dar.org/archives/suffrage-march-centennial-anniversary-online-exhibition “Suffrage March Centennial Anniversary Online Exhibition” presented by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
- https://www.womenshistory.org/exhibits/timeline-woman-suffrage “Timeline: Women’s Suffrage” online exhibit presented by the National Womens History Museum in Alexandria, VA.
- https://www.womenshistory.org/women-leading-way “Leading the Way: A Tribute to Women of the 20th Century” Exhibit presented by the National Womens History Museum in Alexandria VA. Appointment required.
National Events and Exhibits:
- https://www.2020centennial.org/ 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative website is a central organizing and information sharing entity for programs, projects and activities that commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the 19th amendment across the US. There is also a quiz to test your suffrage knowledge and an online Suffrage 101 exhibit.
- https://suffragistmemorial.org/ The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in Occoquan VA will be breaking ground November 14, 2019 and the dedication will be on August 26th 2020. This memorial is dedicated to honoring, memorializing and educating future generations about the Suffragists.
Book Lists on Women's Suffrage:
- https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/39818.Women_s_Suffrage One hundred books recommended by readers on Goodreads.
- "The Lasting Legacy of Suffragists at the Lorton Women’s Workhouse" from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
- "African American Women and the 19th Amendment" from the National Park Service.
- "Delaware and the 19th Amendment" from the National Park Service.
- "The Picketing Campaign Nears Victory" speech by Mabel Vernon at the height of the push for the passage of the 19th amendment.