In celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment, a team of SFA faculty, staff and students have created content to commemorate this historic anniversary. Starting in fall 2018, a group of local interested people – Nineteenth Amendment Celebration, or NAC – began meeting to plan events for 2020 to commemorate the passage of the amendment.
While the onset of COVID-19 changed those plans, NAC has found a way to celebrate this anniversary safely and virtually. By recording living history videos and livestreaming readings, NAC was able to bring history to life.
A brief history
The fight for the right to vote was a long struggle that officially began in 1848 with the Seneca Falls convention, which was attended by some 300 men and women. During the conference, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, which outlined the rationale for women's suffrage and was based upon the Declaration of Independence. Stanton's document was signed by 100 people, including 68 women and 32 men.
The 19th Amendment states the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. It was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, ratified on Aug. 18 then certified on Aug. 26 of 1920, formally adding it to the U.S. Constitution and providing suffrage to all citizens.
For more information, visit the U.S. National Archives website.
Ring the bells
On Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, the bells of Griffith Fine Arts Building, located on SFA’s campus, rang 19 times to commemorate the anniversary. For more information, read more here.
Spearheaded by Carolyn Spears, director of SFA’s Stone Fort Museum, mass communication, theatre and history students collaborated on an oral history project about important suffragettes in October. Theatre students performed monologues of the women’s remarks, speeches and writings, which history students had researched. Mass communication students recorded and edited the videos, which are available to view below.
Excerpt from “Woman’s Right to the Ballot”
Performed by Kitty Hall
Minnie Fisher Cunningham
Excerpt from a letter to honorable Harry H. Dale, U.S. Representative from New York, 1916