National Archives News

National Archives Observes 19th Amendment Centennial

By Victoria Macchi | National Archives News

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2020 —Throughout the next month, the National Archives and Records Administration will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s certification with a series of online events that mark this milestone in women’s suffrage on August 26. 

The campaign for women’s suffrage was long, difficult, and sometimes dramatic, yet ratification did not ensure full enfranchisement. The National Archives holds records that help tell this story, including the ratified amendment, petitions, court case files, and more. National Archives will spend much of August highlighting those holdings and collaborating with the Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress on social media to bring into the light the complex, multistage fight for equal voting rights. Follow #Archives19thAt100 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to track activities throughout the month. 

Additional programming includes:

August 3–26: #19SuffrageStories, a countdown with the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution to share suffrage stories from their holdings.

August 6: “19th Amendment: Past. Present. Future,” a virtual town hall presented in partnership with the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the George and Barbara Bush Foundation, the 19th, the National Constitution Center, and All In Together.

August 7: You’re invited to a #ArchivesHashtagParty! Join the party on Twitter and Instagram and share all your records related to voting history, posters, ballots, and stories of the people who fought for the right to vote using. Join in using #ArchivesGetsTheVote.

August 18: A webinar for educators on Teaching the 19th Amendment

August 20: Meet suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Mary Ann Jung, actress and Smithsonian scholar) in this live event from our Young Learners Program.

August 25:  The National Archives Foundation will host a discussion with authors Rebecca Roberts and Lucinda Robb to preview their new book, The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World. Additionally, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library will hold the “Amendments to the Constitution: You Do the Math” distance learning program in partnership with the Presidential Primary Sources Project.

August 26: A full day of events on the 100th anniversary of the amendment’s ratification, including a moderated discussion with American Historical Theatre reenactors Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and Sojourner Truth, and an evening book lecture with Martha S. Jones about her forthcoming book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. The discussion will be moderated by the National Archives Foundation’s A’Lelia Bundles.

August 27: The National Archives Foundation will present two events: the “Ida B. Wells Program and Discussion” and “100 Years Later: Women in Charge of the Ballot Box.” Join Secretaries of State for a conversation on the important role they play in the election process and the continued struggle for women’s rights. This program is hosted in collaboration with the National Association of Secretaries of State.

As part of the nationwide Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) Forward Into Light Campaign, the National Archives Building will be illuminated in purple and gold at sunset August 18–26, 2020. Although the museum remains closed due to the ongoing pandemic, you can drive or walk by the Constitution Avenue side of the building to enjoy the display from a safe social distance. 

For more information and a full list of events for the public marking the 19th Amendment Centennial, visit the Women's Rights page on

There, you can also read more about the trove of women’s history records at the National Archives and explore the Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote online exhibit.

Rightfully Hers is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation, Google, HISTORY ®, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support for National Outreach and Programs provided by Denise Gwyn Ferguson, Maggie and Robert Boroujerdi, BMO Financial Group, The Hearst Foundations, Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, FedEx, Bernstein Family Foundation, and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation/Ambassador Fay-Hartog Levin (Ret.).