This year, numerous Washington, DC museums and institutions are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment by Congress. The changes to the amendment gave women the right to vote in the United States for the first time on August 18, 1920.
“As the nation’s capital, Washington, DC was at the center of the historic women’s suffrage movement,” said Theresa Belpulsi, vice president of tourism, sports and visitor services at Destination DC. “The city is proud to showcase that history for visitors to embrace during their time in the District.”
Commemorate the women’s suffrage centennial with this array of experiences in Washington, DC.
The National Park Service conducts tours of the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. This 200-year-old historic house in Capitol Hill has been at the center of the fight for women’s rights since the National Woman’s Party became the owner in 1929. Guests can learn about the origins of the suffrage and women’s rights movements, as well as the women who earned the right to vote and introduced the Equal Rights Amendment.
A 3,000-square-foot exhibit in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives uses more than 90 items, including records, artifacts and photographs, to tell the complex story of diverse suffragists in securing women’s voting rights. It’s called “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote.” The exhibit, which is open through Jan. 3, 2021, also goes well beyond 1920 to show the relentless struggle that occurred throughout U.S. history to win voting rights for all women.
The seven-decade struggle for women’s suffrage is illuminated in detail in a Library of Congress exhibit: “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.” Visitors can retrace stories of diverse women who changed America. The exhibition, which is open through September, 2020, draws from the collections of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Mary Church Terrell and other suffragists. Photographs, film footage and rare manuscripts will transport visitors back in time as women took their place in the public square.
Washington Walks leads a tour that highlights the trailblazing women who have lived, worked and contributed to social change in Washington, DC. During “The Women Who Changed America Tour,” you will have a chance to learn about Clara Barton, Dorothy Height, Frances Perkins (the first woman cabinet secretary) and many others.