100 years of women’s suffrage: In appreciation of those who paved the way
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provided women the right to vote. Although the day and age when women could not vote seems unimaginable, 100 years is not that long ago. For many of us, our grandmothers or great-grandmothers lived during this historical movement.
The women’s rights movement in the United States began in 1848 when a group of women and men met in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss the status of women. The group called for the right to vote for women. That idea, radical for the times, initially met with little success.
For more than 70 years, the suffragist movement waged a long and difficult battle but it was fought with the utter and absolute conviction that women should be full and equal citizens with the right to participate in our democracy.
These women, and the men who supported them, paved the way not just for our future, but also for the future of our children and the many generations to come. I’m thankful for those women who led the way 100-plus years ago. We honor them by continuing to be leaders in our communities and by fully participating in our democracy.
To help ensure this significant anniversary is celebrated across the state, the Florida Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission was created by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by the governor in 2019. The Commission is planning programs, events and educational initiatives around this important anniversary.
Additionally, the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee, is featuring an exhibit, “Beyond the Vote: Florida Women’s Activism,” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. By showcasing the history of the women’s rights movement and women’s activism in Florida, the exhibit tells the story of how women activists in Florida worked for social and political change. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, runs through July 25, 2021, and is well worth a trip to Tallahassee.
Many local museums across the state are hosting special exhibits or programs around the 19th Amendment anniversary and I encourage all Floridians to find an opportunity in your community to learn more about the storied history of this historic movement and how it forever changed the trajectory of our state and our nation.
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