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"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the pa!ssion to reach for the stars to change the world. " - Harriet Tubman
As our country celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Movement and the ratification of the 19th Amendment the members of GFWC Four Corners Junior Women's Club invite you to take a historical journey into the past using the story map below. By clicking on the links you can explore, read, visualize and immerse yourself in the evolution of the women's rights crusade for equality and the right to vote.
Leisurely browse the various websites at your own pace, and put the pieces together, just as you would a puzzle, to see the full story. This map will be available all month long. Enjoy!
The Photographs in the gallery are like the pages of a book. They both tell a story!
(Run Time: 20 minutes)
Sixty-sixth Congress of the United States of America; At the First Session,
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday, the nineteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen.
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislature of three-fourths of the several 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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
F. H. Gillett
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Thomas R. Marshall
Vice President of the United States & President of the Senate
After decades of fighting for equality, women in the United States were finally guaranteed
the right to vote.
During the month of August we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. On August 18,1920 the amendment guaranteed all American women, like men, all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, including the right to vote.
The women's suffrage movement began decades before the Civil War. Many women in the 1820's and 30's became indignant to the historical idea that only a "true" woman was a pious, submissive wife and mother who's concern should center exclusively around her home and family.
Women began to support a new way of thinking about what it meant to be a woman and a citizen of the United States. At the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 most delegates agreed that American women were autonomous individuals, and that they should have the right to their own political identities. Among those rights were the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The fight continued through the Civil War and with the signing of the 14th and 15th Amendments. In 1869, a new group was formed by Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to continue the quest for a universal-suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That group became know as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
In 1914, 10,000 women marched in a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D. C. demanding the right to vote, but the parade did not garner the widespread support that was hoped for, and a number of women were arrested and jailed for protesting in front of the White House.
Susan B. Anthony, as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, launched a “society plan” to recruit leaders of women’s clubs to the cause, realizing that these women were an important link to other women in their communities. GFWC, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which was one of the country's largest woman’s organization in the U.S., with a membership of over one million women, officially signed on to support the suffrage movement. This signaled that the movement, that had once been just a radical dream, was beginning to become a mainstream cause.
As of 1914, only 17 of the GFWC state federations had voted to support suffrage. Pro-suffrage resolutions were blocked from coming to the floor at two previous conferences by an anti-suffrage faction, so the outcome of the 1914 convention was uncertain as the delegates headed to Chicago to meet. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Magazine presented both sides of the argument, for and against the movement. The debate was very heated.
The GFWC president was in favor of suffrage, believing that a woman's interest in politics and the vital questions of the day would help her fulfill her duty as a wife and mother. But even with the president's endorsement it was still uncertain if a resolution in favor of suffrage would be voted on. Then, surprisingly, individual clubs in attendance began passing their own resolutions in support of an organization wide suffrage resolution.
On June 14, 1914, the GFWC approved a resolution supporting political equality for men and women regardless of sex. The GFWC’s official endorsement of suffrage was major news. It's approval and support meant that suffrage was a cause that middle-class women all over America should and would support. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Magazine kept members of the GFWC informed of activities toward passage of a national suffrage amendment. By 1917, the magazine was a relevant source for American women about the political and legislative strategies behind the suffrage movement.
Women’s suffrage may not have become a reality without the historic support of the GFWC.
Visit TIME.com for more historical photographs re-imaged in full color. Click
American National Biography - May Mann Jennings was one of Florida's most powerful and influential women. She served as president of the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs, from 1914 to 1917. GFWC was the state’s largest women’s organization with more than ten thousand members
National Parks Service - often overlooked in the history of women's suffrage, black women engaged in significant reform efforts and political activism leading to and following the ratification in 1920 of the
Women's Vote Centennial - Mabel Lee and several other members of the Chinatown community joined national and state suffrage leaders for a meeting at the Peking Restaurant in New York City
GFWC is an international women's organization founded in 1890 and dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the live of others through volunteer service. Collectively, we are Living the Volunteer Spirit.
GFWC Florida is in its second century of community service. In 1891 the Housekeeper's Club of Coconut Grove had formed. It joined the GFWC that year to become the first Florida club to do so. By 1900 several more Florida women's clubs joined.
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A special thank you to P.J. Cook for graciously granting our club permission to use images of her beautiful oil and watercolor paintings, inspired by the Florida coast, for use on our website. Please visit her site to see more of her amazing artwork.