About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "Women and the Vote: The 19th Amendment, Power, Media, and the Making of a Movement"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
May 16, 2019

Good evening. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through YouTube or Facebook. I’m pleased you could join us for tonight’s conversation about “Women and the Vote: The 19th Amendment, Power, Media, and the Making of a Movement.” We are presenting this program in partnership with the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative and the National Women’s History Alliance, and we thank them for their support.

Before we get started, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up soon in this theater.

Tomorrow at noon, we will show part one of Ken Burns’s documentary Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony. Part two will be shown on May 24.

And on Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m., American University history professor Pamela Nadell will be here to tell us about her new book, America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today.

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Check out their website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about them and join online.

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Tonight’s discussion is part of a series of programs related to our recently opened exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote.

Rightfully Hers commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment and tells the story of women’s struggle for voting rights as a critical step toward equal citizenship. The exhibit explores how American women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, and class advanced the cause of suffrage and follows the struggle for voting rights beyond 1920.

The decades-long fight for the vote in the 19th and early 20th centuries engaged large numbers of women in the political process. And a critical part of that campaign was getting their message out to the nation and shifting public opinion to support their cause.

Tonight we’ll learn about the suffrage movement’s communications machine and how it contributed to the movement’s success.

To introduce our panelists, I‘d like to welcome Nancy Tate to the stage. Since 2015, she has served as the co-chair of the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative and is also on the board of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. From 2000 to 2015, she served as the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the National Academy of Public Administration and also served in the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nancy Tate.