On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was formally adopted as part of the US Constitution. The right to vote in the United States could no longer be denied on the basis of sex.
In 2020, the nation and the National Park Service observed the 100th anniversary of this constitutional amendment. The NPS joined other organizations in celebrating a key milestone for women’s contributions to a thriving democracy and the hard-won right for some women to vote. Just as importantly, this anniversary commemorated and highlighted the discrimination and exclusion within this landmark moment in United States history.
In recognition of the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution that secured women the vote, the National Park Service and its partners will explore the complex stories of women’s suffrage within the interwoven contexts of civil and political rights for all Americans. At national park sites, in our programs, and working with our partners in communities throughout the nation, we will seek to engage all Americans in recognizing and celebrating the contributions of women throughout our shared history.
--Vision statement for the NPS Commemoration
Although the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted much of the careful planning for the commemoration, parks and programs adapted and found a way forward, especially using digital tools and social media to reach broader audiences.
An impressive level of involvement established a base of knowledge about and interest in women’s history across the NPS that now serves as a foundation for ongoing work. Because parks and programs reach every corner of every state and territory, NPS is able to tell a truly national story built from local histories in places across the country.
Suggested citation: Springate, Megan, Ella Wagner, and Barbara Little. Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes: The National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment Centennial. Washington, DC: National Park Service, 2022.
Last updated: July 22, 2022