One hundred years ago, on August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was certified and formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Since its passage, states and the federal government are prohibited from denying the right to vote to citizens on the basis of sex.
In 1971, Congressional Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY), a lawyer, introduced a bill designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day. This measure initially failed. However, Abzug tried again in 1973 and successfully passed H.J. Res. 52 through the 93rd Congress. Due to Bella Abzug’s persistence and patience, August is now known as National Women’s Suffrage Month, with August 26 recognized as Women’s Equality Day.
"Forward through the Darkness, into the Light!" is the rallying cry that united the suffrage movement a century ago. This slogan rings true now more than ever.
Today the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC), in partnership with federal, state and local leaders, plan. to illuminate buildings and landmarks throughout the U.S. in purple and gold lighting to celebrate the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and women's right to vote.
The Library of Congress has resources dedicated to women’s history and the women’s suffrage movement. Visit the newly curated special collection: Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.