This post was written by Lee Ann Potter, Director of Learning and Innovation at the Library of Congress.
The second and third weeks of February 1920—100 years ago—were pivotal for the women’s suffrage movement. The 19th Amendment that had been approved by Congress during the summer of 1919 had already been ratified by 27 states. Only nine more were needed before it would be added to the Constitution, and women across the United States would be allowed to vote.
Six of those nine voted for ratification between February 7–23: Nevada on February 7th, New Jersey on the 9th, Idaho on the 11th, Arizona on the 12th, New Mexico on the 16th, and Oklahoma on the 23rd.
The story of ratification, however, is just a part of the much larger story of the women’s suffrage movement that the Library is celebrating and commemorating this year through programs, exhibitions, and publications.
Today, the Library of Congress and HISTORY are pleased to announce the publication of a special Idea Book for Educators. It is a companion to the Library of Congress exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote, and features ideas for teaching with primary sources in a variety of media. The exhibition and teaching materials offer powerful testimony to the individuals—the change makers with whom we are familiar as well as those lesser-known participants—whose courage, perseverance, savvy, creativity, and hope secured voting rights for American women 100 years ago.
We hope you find this resource and the ideas suggested in it to be valuable!
For additional teaching ideas and resources, check out these recent posts on suffrage:
- Remembering the Fight for Women’s Suffrage
- Women in Baseball: A Junior Fellow Meets the Bloomer Girls
- Carrie Chapman Catt and the Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission
- Teaching Rhetorical Analysis with Suffrage-themed Advertisements
If you use any of these—or other!—materials from the Library of Congress about women’s suffrage, please let us know what most engages your students.