100 Years Ago, Women Won the Right to Vote

Commemorating the
19th Amendment

Photograph No. P24520426; “Women Marching in Suffragette Parade, Washington, DC” Master File Photographs of U.S. and Foreign Personalities, World Events, and American Economic, Social, and Cultural Life, ca. 1953 - ca. 1994; Records of the U.S. Information Agency, 1900 - 2003; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

It’s no coincidence that the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment is occurring during a presidential election year. One hundred years ago, just three months after the amendment was officially adopted in August 1920, women across the country elevated the 29th U.S. president to the nation’s highest elected office.

Today, we can only imagine the profound pride and satisfaction experienced by the women who exercised their right to vote in the 1920 federal election. Gratefully, we do not need to rely on our imaginations to process the sacrifice and suffering of the Suffragists who fought so women can vote this November: Although their stories have rarely been told, their valor is well documented.

8 Million

Number of women who voted for the first time on November 2nd, 1920[1]

While Susan B. Anthony – who passed away 14 years before the amendment was ratified -- may be the most familiar name among the Suffragists, it was her followers who fought on the frontlines. The heroines of the suffrage movement were Alice Paul, a radical Northeastern Quaker, Carrie Chapman Catt, a wealthy Midwestern activist, and the thousands of their devotees across the nation. Educated, informed, fearless and indefatigable, Paul and Catt approached their mutual enemy – women’s disenfranchisement -- with polar opposite and competing strategies. One focused on a federal Constitutional amendment, the other on a state-by-state approach to winning the vote. In the end, both campaigns were essential. Once Paul’s National Woman’s Party won the passage of the 19th Amendment in Congress, the advance work of Catt’s North American Woman Suffrage Association helped to secure the votes of the three-quarters of the state assemblies required for ratification.

Susan B. Anthony, photomechanical print. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/rbcmiller001314/.

30 Months

Length of time the National Women's Party protested outside the White House against President Woodrow Wilson's inaction on Women's Suffrage[2]

Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania on the Picket Line. United States Washington D.C, 1917. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000212/.

The stories from the suffrage frontlines are fascinating, horrific and humbling. The Suffragists were denigrated, dismissed, harassed, jailed, tortured and some died. As warriors, they were strategic, ingenious, diligent, vigilant, savvy and feisty. They are role models, worthy of our respect, admiration and action.

In honor of Susan B. Anthony, Alice Stokes Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, and all of the women who fought so you could have your voice heard, please cast a ballot in every election.  

To commemorate the centennial of the Suffragists’ victory, PNC has been privileged to support numerous activities across the country. Although the coronavirus pandemic will alter many of the planned celebrations, it cannot diminish the relevance of the 19th amendment for women, then and now.

65 Years

Length of time between the first and last states to ratify the 19th Amendment[3]

Events & Insights


Running Your Business

Votes for Women

During this webcast, we discuss the suffragists’ hard fought battle to win the right to vote with ratification of the 19th amendment.

57:45 min video

Running Your Business

Women's Suffrage Celebrates Centennial

Activities nationwide mark 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

2 min read

Running Your Business

Designed for Georgia Educators, Now Relevant for ‘Teachers’ Everywhere

Georgia Historical Society’s online “Winning the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Georgia” project box is easily adaptable for teachers and parents across the country.

2 min read

Manage Business Finances

The Agitators Stirs up the Past and Present in Philadelphia

Staged to commemorate the 19th Amendment centennial, a play about the real-life friendship and rivalry between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass started an even more relevant discussion about race and equity.

2 min read

Running Your Business

Brandywine Art Museum Mounts a Visual History of Women’s Suffrage

From posters, postcards and political cartoons to pins, capes and sashes, the “Votes for Women” exhibition shows off the savvy side of the suffragists.

2 min read

Running Your Business

‘Women & Politics’ Honors Ohio Leaders’ Historical Achievements

Cleveland’s Western Reserve Historical Society marks the centennial of women’s suffrage with a permanent exhibit.

1 min read

Important Legal Disclosures & Information

1. https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/the-fight-for-womens-suffrage

2. http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/suffrage/history.htm

3. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/19th-amendment-by-state.htm



“Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson and the Fight for the Right to Vote” by Tina Cassidy

“The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote” by Elaine Weiss



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