Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

ERA Charm Bracelet

ERA Charm Bracelet

Usage conditions apply
This is the second 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 California, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oregon, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, Connecticut, and Washington.
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bracelet, charm
date made
associated institution
National Woman's Party
associated person
Paul, Alice
place made
United States: District of Columbia
Physical Description
silver (overall material)
enamel (overall material)
average spatial: 1 1/4 in x 6 1/2 in; 3.175 cm x 16.51 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc
Women's Suffrage
Women's Rights
Equal Rights Amendment
Voting Rights
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Women's History Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Woman Suffrage
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.