On August 26, 1920 Congress passed the 19th Amendment and women finally obtained the right to vote. The 19th amendment states “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.”
The passage of the 19th Amendment was due to the many women and men who worked diligently within the Women’s Suffrage movement. A powerful film that captures a small segment of time within the movement is called Iron Jawed Angels.
Here is a clip from the film.
In 1971, Rep Bella Abzug led the effort in Congress to officially designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
According to the website of the National Women’s History Project (nwhp.org/resourcecenter/equalityday.php):
“The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.”
WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY
This resolution passed in 1971, designating August 26 of each year Women’s Equality Day:
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and
WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a
nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.