Centennial of Women’s Suffrage

In 2019 and 2020, the Alaska Historical Society embarked on a special initiative to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920 that was intended to ensure that the right to vote would not be denied based on sex. By this time, thirty-six states had ratified the amendment granting women voting rights. This ratification was a result of the efforts of a number of women’s rights groups that had been working in a systematic way since 1848, when women organized nationally for suffrage in Seneca Falls, New York. While the national suffrage organizations were in the East, territories and states in the American West were the first to grant women the right to vote. Alaska became the 10th Suffrage Star when it granted women the right to vote in 1913, joining Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, California, Oregon, Arizona and Kansas.

During 2020, events and exhibits will be presented by museums, archives, libraries, historical societies, leagues of women voters, universities and communities celebrating the 19th Amendment and Alaska women getting the vote. Please watch for these events in your areas.

Votes for Women, Woman Suffrage in Alaska:  A Resource List. Prepared by Beverly Beeton and R. Bruce Parham, July 2020.

Recovering Our Past, The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage Project Jukebox. This Project Jukebox contains a slideshow of images with audio excerpted from oral history interviews conducted in the 1970s with women who were directly involved with the original struggle for women’s suffrage in the Lower 48. It is a great resource for education about this nationally important issue and anniversary, as well as serving as the basis for conversations about women gaining the right to vote in Alaska and current access to equal voting rights.