ERA Charm Bracelet (IV)


This is the fourth of four bracelets displaying charms for the states that voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

The 19th amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920. Women had won the vote but not full equality, so Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party took up the fight for equal rights. Believing that the more she understood about law the more useful she would be, Paul went back to school and earned three law degrees. In 1923 she drafted the text of the Equal Rights Amendment and worked for women’s equality in national and international forums for the rest of her career. In 1972 when Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment designed to guarantee protection against sexual discrimination for women under the law and sent it to the states for ratification, Paul began a set of charm bracelets. She added a charm engraved with the date that each state ratified the amendment. She had started her fourth bracelet when she suffered a stroke in 1974. An Ohio state charm dated 2/7/74 was the last one that she added. Alice Paul died on July 9, 1977, at the age of 92. She would never know that the amendment for which she had fought so long and hard would not be ratified.

This bracelet has charms representing states that had ratified the amendment after its passing. There are charms for Montana, Ohio, and Maine.

The ERA failed to meet the requisite number of state ratifications (38) by Congress’ deadline of June 30, 1982 and so was not adopted as a Constitutional amendment. It has since been reintroduced several times.

Associated Institution: National Woman's PartyAssociated Person: Paul, Alice

Location: Currently not on view

General Subject Association: Women's RightsWomen's SuffrageSubject: Equal Rights AmendmentGeneral Subject Association: Voting RightsJewelry


See more items in: Political History: Political History, Women's History Collection, Government, Politics, and Reform, Woman Suffrage


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1987.0165.042Catalog Number: 1987.0165.042Accession Number: 1987.0165

Object Name: bracelet, charm

Physical Description: silver (overall material)enamel (overall material)Measurements: average spatial: 1 1/4 in x 6 1/2 in; 3.175 cm x 16.51 cm


Record Id: nmah_1066423

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