Suffragists from across the country—more than 5,000 in total—gather on the East Steps of the White House to sing Ethel Smyth's "Hymn of the Women."

Suffragists from across the country—more than 5,000 in total—gather on the East Steps of the White House to sing Ethel Smyth's "Hymn of the Women."

Image: Shutterstock

1837: American Anti-Slavery Society agent Angelina Grimke is appointed to speak at abolitionist conventions in New York and New Jersey. Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke College, the first four-year U.S. college exclusively for women.

1848: Elizabeth Cady Stanton writes The Declaration of Sentiments, creating the agenda of women's activism for the next 70 years. Seneca Falls, the site of the signing of the document, is the first women’s rights convention in America.

1851: At the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth delivers her now-memorable speech "Ain't I a Woman?"

1865: The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, effectively ending slavery across American territories. Non-landowning and non-white people, however, are not given the right to vote.

1866: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass form the American Equal Rights Association, dedicated to the goal of suffrage for all regardless of gender or race.

1868: The first edition of The Revolution, a Suffragist periodical, is published alongside the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

1868: The 14th Amendment is ratified. "Citizens" and "voters" are defined exclusively as male.

1869: The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association are formed.

1871: Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first female law school student at Howard University, attempts unsuccessfully to register to vote in Washington, D.C.

1872: Susan B. Anthony is arrested after voting for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election. Sojourner Truth appears at a polling booth, demanding a ballot to vote. She is turned away.

1875: In Minor v. Happersett, the Supreme Court rules that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not grant women the right to vote.

1878: The Women’s Suffrage Amendment, drafted by Susan B. Anthony, is first introduced to Congress.

1879: Lawyer Belva Ann Lockwood convinces Congress to allow women to practice before the Supreme Court.

1890: The NWSA and the AWSA unite to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association under the leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

1892: The Colored Women's League is founded in Washington, D.C., by Helen Cook, Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Frances E.W. Harper. The league fights for black suffrage and holds many movement parades.

1910: The Women’s Political Union organizes the first suffrage parade in New York City.

1913: Alice Paul and Lucy Burns form the Congressional Union to work toward the passage of a federal amendment to give women the vote. The group is later renamed the National Women's Party in 1916.

A crowd of suffragists demonstrate with signs reading "Wilson Against Women" in Chicago in 1916. President Woodrow Wilson withheld his support of suffrage until 1918.​

A crowd of suffragists demonstrate with signs reading "Wilson Against Women" in Chicago in 1916. President Woodrow Wilson withheld his support of suffrage until 1918.

Image: Shutterstock

1913: President Woodrow Wilson labels women who campaign for suffrage “totally abhorrent.”

1917: George Edward Creel, chair of the Committee on Public Information, meets with President Wilson daily to discuss his ideas and introduce the beginnings of several bills towards women’s suffrage.

1918: Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Woodrow Wilson states that the Democratic Party platform will support suffrage, calling it a “war measure.”

1919: The Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, originally introduced in 1878, is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

1919: The Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, originally introduced in 1878, is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. But it isn’t until the Voting Rights Act is passed nearly a half century later in 1965 that women of color are officially allowed to exercise their right to vote. They were denied access to ballot boxes and voter registration through fraud and intimidation.

1920: Three quarters of the state legislatures ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Henry Burn casts the deciding vote after being convinced to do so by his mama. Afterwards? He fled from the Capitol.

Susan B. Anthony reading a book

Image: Shutterstock

Suffragist Reading List

Courtesy of BookStore1 Sarasota and Georgia Court

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, by Elaine Weiss

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, by Susan Ware

Alice Paul: Claiming Power, by J.D. Zahniser and Amelia R. Fry

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South, by Adele Logan Alexander

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, edited by Kate Clarke LeMay

Sisters: The Lives of America’s Suffragists, by Jean H. Baker

The Book of Gutsy Women, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton

The Women of the 116th Congress, forward by Roxanne Gay

For Young Readers

Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote, by Kirsten Gillibrand

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles, by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Suffragist Plays

Press Cuttings by George Bernard Shaw, 1909

Miss Ida B. Wells by Endesha Ida Mae Holland, 1992

Her Naked Skin by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, 2008

The Sound of Breaking Glass by Sally Sheringham, 2009

19: The Musical, by Jennifer Schwed and Doug Bradsha, 2017

Suffragist Films

A Militant Suffragette: 1913

Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony, 1999

Iron Jawed Angels, 2004

Suffragette, 2015

The Divine Order, 2017

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