Commemoration and celebration of the 100-year anniversary ratifying the 19th Amendment (i.e., women’s right to vote), from an Iowa perspective, is starting throughout the state. Twenty-six different projects and activities intended to educate the public regarding this monumental achievement have been in the planning stage since 2017.
The website, https://19th-Amendment-Centennial.org, may be the best resource for people to view the planned activities, supporting agencies, institutions and individuals and the ensuing campaign titled “Hard Won. Not Done.” On July 2, 1919, Iowa became the 10th state to ratify the right of all citizens, regardless of gender, to vote, whereas Tennessee’s approval put the law into effect on Aug. 18, 1920.
Some of the projects include 19th Amendment-related lesson plans for high school social studies teachers, replica of the 1913-1920 suffrage wagon available for city and county parades, art and history museum displays, public and school library book fairs, availability of 19th Amendment-related city street banners, 19th Amendment speaker series hosted by history and political science teachers, IPTV documentary of prominent Iowa suffragists, National History Day essay competition for middle and high school students, The Suffragists musical, 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration illustrated calendar, podcasts, book and proclamations.
Service clubs, city leaders, civic organizations, county officials and businesses that would like to have a representative of Iowa’s 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration Committee speak to their organization regarding the statewide project, seek more information regarding city parades, city banners, library and museum events, speaker series, etc. or volunteer to get involved, contact Doris Kelley, chair, 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration, at 515-988-2344 or DJKelley@cfu.net.
Supporting agency and institution partners include: League of Women Voters of Iowa, Iowa Women’s Foundation, Women Lead Change, 50-50 in 2020, American Association of University Women of Iowa, Business Professional Women of Iowa, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, Department of Human Rights-Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, Iowa State Education Association, National Nineteenth Amendment Society, NEXUS Executive Women’s Alliance, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa.