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100 Years of Women's Right to Vote

Megan Olsen participates Saturday during the event held to honor the 100th anniversary of Women's Suffrage at Buckley Park in Durango

Read She Speaks

‘It’s not only my right, it’s my responsibility to honor those women’

Durango celebrates 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote

By Shannon Mullane Pine River Valley reporter

Durango Herald

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020

One hundred years ago today, the United States adopted a new constitutional amendment: Women would have the right to vote.On Saturday, La Plata County residents celebrated that historic day with a salute to the diverse women who made it happen – and a heightened appreciation for the right to vote.

The 19th Amendment was a victory 70 years in the making, but Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women continued to face barriers to voting for decades after it passed. Its anniversary coincides with the Black Lives Matter movement and concerns about voting access during the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, residents roamed an open-air suffragist gallery, taking stock of the historic moment.

“My big takeaway is just wanting young girls to vote,” said Caitlin Cannon of Durango. “Sojourner Truth risked her life and endured incredible abuse to fight for the ability to vote, and then people just don’t do it?” Read More…

Ida B. Wells gets her due as a Black suffragist who rejected movement’s racism

Washington Post By DeNeen L. Brown, August 25, 2020

Her image is arresting. Hundreds of people walking through Washington’s Union Station this week paused to look at the huge photo mosaic of anti-lynching crusader and suffragist Ida B. Wells-Barnett on the marble floor.

The portrait, designed by visual artist Helen Marshall using thousands of smaller photos of women who fought for the right to vote, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. Read More...

Karen Kedrowski: Carrie Chapman Catt and the 19th Amendment

Durango Herald – Guest Columns

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020
The Aug. 14 editorial in The Durango Herald “Who benefited from the 19th Amendment?” includes a number of errors about Carrie Chapman Catt and the impact of the 19th Amendment. Please allow me to correct the record.

Carrie Chapman Catt was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1900-1904 and 1915-1920. She is the author of the “winning plan” that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which is the largest single expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. Catt also established the first international woman’s suffrage organization and established women’s suffrage groups on three continents. After the 19th Amendment was ratified, Catt became active in the peace movement and publicized the plight of Jewish refugees during World War II. Read More...

Buckley Park 100th Anniversary Event

If you missed our 100 year celebration
on August 22 
at Buckley Park, 
check out a few photos from the event.

8/22/2020 Suffrage Celebration

19th Amendment Resources

Articles of interest from the New York Times (you may need a subscription to view):

Legacy of Suffrage

100 Years Later, These Activists Continue Their Ancestors’ Work

By Elizabeth Williamson and Haruka Sakaguchi Aug. 7, 2020

For Three Suffragists, a Monument Well Past Due

By Alisha Haridasani Gupta


Click to view historical photos
related to Women's Suffrage
courtesy of the U. S. Library of Congress

from Jane Cox

Professor Emerita

Iowa State University

One hundred sixty-two years ago today, January 9, Carrie Chapman Catt was born.
  Among other accomplishments she founded the League of Women Voters (fighting intense opposition to do so) and co-founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1904 (now known as the International Alliance of Women).


On her seventieth birthday in 1929 a luncheon was given in her honor.  Among those speaking was Maud Wood Park, the first President of the LWV.  Her remarks on that day are in the Library of Congress and read as follows:


Knowing that I was going to be here, I brought an extract of a letter which Mrs. Catt wrote to me twenty-five years ago.  Once, when we were preparing press notices, I wrote to ask her for biographical material.  She replied: ‘I hardly know what to tell you about myself for use in the papers.  I do not think there is much to say about me except that I have given my life to the suffrage work and that I have performed all the various obligations which an enlistment in the Cause puts upon one.  I have opened the doors of churches and halls and lighted the kerosene lamps; attended the babies while the meeting was in progress; made the speech; taken the collection; pronounced the benediction; organized the Club or Committee, etc., etc., and have held all the offices imaginable from Club President up and down and sideways.  As I look back upon it, this seems to be a record of annual and even weekly drudgery, doing each day what the cause seemed to demand of me, but I do not perceive in that record any glorious heroism or headlines to attract public attention.  If you find any ,it will be due to your imagination.’


Park then added, “You are the greatest chief we have ever known.”,0.18,1.111,0.706,0


Heroism has been defined in many ways.  Joseph Campbell defined a hero as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”  I like the definition, “Heroism is endurance for one moment more.”  However, it is defined, Carrie Chapman Catt possessed those qualities whether she saw herself that way or not.   Happy Birthday to Carrie!