A Special “2020 Suffrage Centennial” Letter from Suffrage Centennials!

Dear Friends,

You may be interested in the upcoming 2020 suffrage centennial where Americans will be celebrating the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. But there’s more to discover. You may be a votes for women, first wave women’s rights descendant, and not know it.

There are millions of us. Chances are—you haven’t yet uncovered your essential role in US history. During 2020, your job will be to celebrate this and put it into play by insisting on remembering the nation’s democratic roots.


If you are a hidden descendant, you aren’t alone. Tens of thousands of women and their allies spent decades working for the right to vote from 1848 (and before) through 1920. They have descendants, and you, like many others, haven’t yet uncovered this part of your family history.

That you may be descended from the first wave of American voting rights activists shouldn’t be passed over lightly. Many families didn’t mention this association and organizing priority to their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other descendants.

Are there interests you have and activities that you’ve not mentioned to friends and family members? Of course.


Even if you can’t prove a direct family connection, the first wave of the women’s rights movement in the United States is an important and essential part of our national legacy and history…whether you’re a young person, woman, man, or wherever you find yourself on the gender continuum.

The chances are excellent that you are descended, either directly or by interest, to the tens of thousands of voting rights activists and their allies who worked and sweated for decades to win the right to vote during the first wave of the women’s rights movement. If you aren’t directly related, you may be a descendent in some other way—spiritual or because of your interests and concerns.


There are many citizens who define themselves as first wave women’s rights descendants simply because they are passionate about this part of American history. By combining the accomplishments of all the waves of rights activists through today, we find ourselves standing on strong shoulders.

Our place in history will be celebrated during 2020, and we want to make sure you’re part of this turning point in time. Some people call this coming year the celebration of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. It’s also known as the women’s vote centennial, the suffrage centennial 2020, the votes for women centennial.


Celebrate women’s freedom to vote during 2020. That’s why you’re being contacted now. So we’ll be ready during 2020 to be heard, loud and clear.

All the best,

Marguerite Kearns

PS If you don’t know about this excellent book, Winning the Vote, here’s your chance to see a lush and elegant book that highlights the 72 years US women struggled to win the right to vote. Take a look and order.

Stay up to date with SuffrageCentennials.com. And visit our sister sites:

SuffrageWagon.org     LetsRockTheCradle.com   QuakerWomen.com

This entry was posted on April 6, 2019, in Blog.

“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence”

Planning for 2020 has manifested into an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. celebrating the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Titled “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” it opens on March 29, 2019, and will be on view through January 5, 2020.

This history of women’s suffrage in the United States will be spread over seven rooms at the museum and display more than 120 portraits and objects spanning from 1832 to 1965. The range of topics includes “Radical Women: 1832–1869,” “Women Activists: 1870–1892,” “The New Woman: 1893–1912,” “Compelling Tactics: 1913–1916,” “Militancy in the American Suffragist Movement: 1917–1919” and “The Nineteenth Amendment and Its Legacy.”

The exhibition also includes early photographic portraits, paintings, engravings, works on paper, lithographs, video, newspapers, postcards, books, ballots, banners, fliers, a china set, embroidery, and pennants.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is located at 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com

This entry was posted on March 30, 2019, in Blog.

New votes for women graphics for the 2020 suffrage centennial…

When preparing for the 2020 women’s vote centennial, don’t forget the work of graphic artist Meneese Wall who has created signed art prints and notecards to celebrate the upcoming 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. We’ve alerted you to this in the past, and this is a reminder that this collection is perfect for gifts and sales at your suffrage events and celebrations. For more information: meneese@meneesewall.com.

Stay current by subscribing to SuffrageCentennials.com 

This entry was posted on March 23, 2019, in Blog.

Women’s History Month gifts and celebrations lead up to 2020 suffrage centennial!

Across the nation special community and school events are planned during Women’s History Month. Classroom teachers have been scheduling learning opportunities. Special posters, balloons, books, and party favors are available through web sites at historic sites and organizational gift shops.

Zoe Nicholson, for example, is busy during March of 2019 presenting programs about suffrage activist Alice Paul. Check out Zoe’s web site at missalicepaul.com

For example, some of Zoe’s programming…

imagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your 2020 suffrage centennial event.

Book on votes for women “suffragents” raises questions for women today!

Happy Women’s History Month. Let’s take a look at the “suffragents,” an overlooked group from history that raises questions for women today.

Opposition to equal rights was an important consideration during the first wave of the women’s rights movement in the United States. The liquor movement was one such source. And there were many others, including women and men themselves. The unequal social and economic system is a fact of life impacting many more individuals and organizations than women at the present time.

There’s a book out by Brooke Kroeger (published in 2017) that studies the involvement of men allies in the first wave of the women’s rights movement. When reading to the very end of The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote, the author suggests that the involvement of men in the first wave turned out to be important.

Kroeger suggests that there isn’t anything comparable today in terms of men building support for the Equal Rights Amendment and other issues on a large scale. One factor mentioned by votes for women activists of a different era boiled down to opposition based on “deeply entrenched attitudes about the nature and role of women.”

The book about the men allies raises important questions, especially the author’s mention that a men’s support network like 100 years ago doesn’t exist today. She brings up other important questions, such as—

“Was their participation as ‘suffragents’ lost in recall because of the fullness of the subsequent twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years in most of their lives? Or was the downplaying deliberate, a postchivalrous response to obscure their role in the great women’s epic, as good allies should; that certainly has been the effect. It would be consistent that the men preferred to be in the historical shadows…”

Anyone studying the men’s movement today finds both support and opposition by men. These and other questions persist during Women’s History Month, a time to reflect on why today the men’s movement today is divided. And this goes for the women’s equal rights movement as well.

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for updates.

This entry was posted on March 9, 2019, in Blog.

Is there liberty and justice for all? Or the eternal question…will the Equal Rights Amendment ever be ratified?

ERA means the Equal Rights Amendment.

There is no deadline for equal human rights. That’s what increasing numbers of people are saying. The ERA, affirming the equal application of the Constitution to all persons regardless of their sex, was written in 1923 by Alice Paul, suffragist activist and founder of the National Woman’s Party. After women’s right to vote was guaranteed by the 19th Amendment in 1920, she proposed the ERA as the next step in confirming “equal justice under law” for all citizens.

The ERA was introduced into every Congress between 1923 and 1972, when it was passed and sent to the states for ratification. The Equal Rights Amendment extends the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause to effectively end sex discrimination under law. If you’ve ever been confused about the ERA or felt overwhelmed abut the ratification process, here’s a crash course.


  • Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
  • Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
  • Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.


The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1923. Fifty years later in 1972, the U.S. Congress chose to impose a seven-year deadline for state ratifications; this deadline ended in 1982. A total of 38 states were needed and 35 states ratified.  Only three states fell short of the 1982 deadline. And so the ERA has been languishing.  Legal analysis sponsored by the ERA Summit at the University of Richmond argued that the ERA’s deadline is not permanent and could be extended again or removed altogether. In 2001, the ERA Campaign Network commissioned a survey from the Opinion Research Corporation and found that 96 percent of Americans believed “male and female citizens should have equal rights,” with 88 percent of those polled believing that equal rights should be written into the Constitution.

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for updates.


This entry was posted on March 2, 2019, in Blog.

ERA fails in Virginia. When planning for 2020, consider a party for Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday!


The ERA momentum failed in Virginia. The ERA ratification movement is looking toward Arizona and North Carolina. Supporters say that 80 percent of the Virginia electorate supported equal rights for women in the US Constitution. However, their elected officials voted not to go on the record for equality.

With the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment coming up in 2020, women across the nation will be hearing mixed messages about the rite of passage associated with anniversaries. With the news coming in so far, some observers are suggesting that American women should be buckling their seat belts in preparation.


Susan B. Anthony will be 200 years old in 2020. If you’re planning for 2020, the national suffrage centennial, a birthday party for Susan B. Anthony is consistent with the observances being scheduled now. It can be a fun party, a fundraiser, or a feature at your conference. There are plenty of resources online.

And while you’re at it, contribute to the Turning Point Suffrage Memorial. It will be opening in 2020 and what you give now will make a difference. Some of the plans have changed since this video, but it still gives a peek at some of the planning underway. By the way, more activists than Susan B. Anthony will be honored in the Memorial.

VIDEO: Be on the Cutting Edge with your Support of the Suffragist Memorial! on Vimeo.

SuffrageCentennials.com is a partner with Vision 2020.

This entry was posted on February 25, 2019, in Events.

Women’s History Month—Participate in gravesite project!


Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY will be celebrating the national Women’s History Month in March with an array of programming and special events. New exhibits will be unveiled featuring some of the park’s most significant historical objects related to the first Women’s Rights Convention held in the park’s Wesleyan Chapel in 1848.


Women’s Rights National Historical Park is key in the story of the first wave of the women’s rights movement. All sites within Women’s Rights National Historical Park are free and open to the public during March, Women’s History Month.


Part of the preparation for Women’s History Month and 2020, the national votes for women centennial, has to do with identifying the graves of suffrage activists. A message from the National Women’s History Alliance:

“Once you have located suffragist grave sites in your area, share the names and location of the burial site so that we can submit their names to the national registry for suffrage sites lgraves@nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org and ensure they are remembered and celebrated for years to come.”


Help in spreading the word to communicators about the support for their outreach about the 2020 votes for women centennial. LetsRockTheCradle.com

SuffrageCentennials.com honors Women’s History Month.

2019 is a great planning year for the 2020 votes for women centennial!


There are so many programs and special events planned for 2020 that it’s best to refer Americans to the event listings with the Votes for Women Centennial. Meanwhile, the planning continues.

Work is in progress for a musical about the first wave of the women’s rights movement that’s loosely defined as from 1848 to 1920. And 2020 is the anniversary of US women voting for 100 years. There are still serious kinks to be worked out, in addition to complications caused by gerrymandering and other serious issues.


Shaina Taub calls her musical work in progress “The Suffragists,” and some of the songs from this upcoming production were introduced at the 75th anniversary of the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University last year. The musical focuses on the latter part of the movement for voting rights—the relationship between Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt that point up Paul’s “idealism” and Catt’s “practicality” and their relationship to other groups adding to tensions within the movement, a decentralized and often fragmented campaign now being recognized in the 2020 votes for women centennial.


SuffrageCentennials.com has been publishing since 2013. We’re passionate about the 2020 votes for women centennial. And we continue urging individuals, organizations, policymakers, historians, and others to prepare. Make sure a celebration is on your planning list.

Visit our sister web platforms: LetsRockTheCradle.com is a public information service for the media when covering 2020 women’s voting rights events. SuffrageWagon.org celebrates the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon that was used for organizing in NYC and on Long island during 1913. It will be on exhibit at the New York State Museum in 2020.

Our newest sister suffrage site: QuakerWomen.com