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Introduction

Creating Icons: How We Remember Woman Suffrage

Woman Suffrage. Many Americans learned the saga of Susan B. Anthony leading a close-knit sisterhood in a decades-long crusade for votes for women that ended in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

This story of their victory inspired generations of women to fight for rights—and still does. But this isn’t the full story.

Women of all classes and races across the United States worked for suffrage and women’s rights. Most of them are missing from the popular tale we learn in school with its focus on iconic leaders. Understanding how a history that left out so many people was constructed and recognizing their proper place in it creates a truer memory of the suffrage struggle and explains why diversity in membership, leadership, and goals has aroused controversy in modern American women’s movements.


This exhibition was made possible through the support of many generous donors.