About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for The Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Impact and Legacy

Hello! I’m Debra Steidel Wall, Deputy Archivist of the United States, and I’m delighted to welcome you to today’s panel discussion on “The Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Impact and Legacy.”

We are presenting this program in partnership with the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, with support from

the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial,

the National Women’s History Alliance,

the National Women’s History Museum, and

the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, and we thank them all for their support.

I am honored to have served on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, and to have been part of the National Archives’ commemoration of the 19th Amendment. We and other institutions across the country promoted the centennial observance with a wide assortment of programs, events, and social media campaigns.

As home of the actual 19th Amendment, the National Archives was especially proud to share and raise awareness of records relating to suffrage. After the pandemic shut down our public places, we turned to online outlets to creatively continue the commemoration and bring the suffrage story to even more people.

Our centerpiece exhibition, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, opened in March 2019 in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and is available as an online exhibit on Archives.gov.

The Rightfully Hers exhibit made us take a new look at the suffrage campaign, the women behind it, and the extent of their success. The 19th Amendment is a landmark voting rights victory, but it did not open the polls to all women. After ratification in 1920, millions of women remained unable to vote for reasons other than sex. We went beyond the famous names and learned about women of color who advocated for women’s rights as part of the larger fight for civil rights.

We’re proud to have brought this story to the wider public, and we will continue to encourage the telling of the many different American experiences.

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Now I am pleased to turn you over to Nancy Tate, who will introduce our panel.

Since 2015, Nancy E. Tate has served as the co-chair of the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative. She is also on the boards of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and the National Women’s History Alliance. From 2000 to 2015, she served as the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Previously, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the National Academy of Public Administration, and in the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Please welcome Nancy Tate.