The 19th Amendment Centennial: 1920-2020

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” - 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted most – but not all – women in the U.S. the right to vote. Passed by Congress in 1919, the amendment came about through decades of protests, education, and organizing efforts. It was ratified August 18, 1920, and certified August eight days later.

Throughout the centennial year, the Library offers resources, programs, and more that commemorate voting rights and explore the history of women’s political activism then and now.

Resources

19th Amendment Centennial coloring book cover art

Coloring Kansas City: 19th Amendment Centennial

The Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections has produced their second Coloring Kansas City history-themed coloring book, with this edition highlighting eight local women who took part in the suffrage movement. A digital edition and downloads of all the suffragists’ profiles are also available at kchistory.org/coloringkc.

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Programs & Events

Qualified Rights: Women’s Suffrage, Citizenship, and the 19th Amendment Reconsidered

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Program: 6:30 p.m.
View online at youtube.com/kclibrary

One hundred years ago this month, women won their fight for the right to vote – though not all of them. Mathieu discusses the pitfalls, as well as the pinnacles, accompanying the 19th Amendment’s promise.

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Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener

Tuesday, August 27, 2020
Program: 6:30 p.m.
View online at youtube.com/kclibrary

Award-winning historian and author Kimberly Hamlin examines the life and immense influence of the “Harriet Beecher Stowe of Fallen Women” in a discussion of her book Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener.

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Strictly Speaking: Equal Rights Should Have No Deadline

Saturday, August 29, 2020
Program: 10:00 a.m.
View online at youtube.com/kclibrary

A distinguished panel of officials, experts, and ERA activists assesses the decades-long effort to enact what would be the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enshrining the principle of gender equality in our founding charter.

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Suggested Reading, Viewing, Listening

Adult Recommendations

Regional Resources & Research

The Library’s history website The Pendergast Years: Kansas City During the Jazz Age and Great Depression features a number of original articles about local suffrage efforts and women’s reform movements, as well as a collection of digitized photos and materials.

Election & Voting Information

The Library offers a number of resources for voting and election information.

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Register to vote, check your voter registration status, and see what’s on your local ballot using Vote 411 from the League of Women Voters Education Fund.

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