Senators on Suffrage
Anniversaries are times for many things—commemoration, contemplation, celebration, and evaluation. In 1920, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution meant that women across the country could no longer be denied the vote because of their sex. Many cast ballots for the first time in the 1920 election. For African American, Latina, Native American, Asian American, immigrant, and poor women the fight for voting rights would continue but the Nineteenth Amendment stands as a crucial victory and first step in women’s struggle for civil rights. To mark its 100th anniversary, the Smithsonian is honored to have the women of the United States Senate help us reflect on the impact of the Nineteenth Amendment. When the amendment was ratified there were no women serving in Congress. One hundred years of ballots later, 24 senators share what the Nineteenth Amendment means to them and what we can learn from the suffrage story.
Watch a video featuring Senator Marsha Blackburn, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and museum director Anthea Hartig.
Click on the photos below to read the senators’ reflections.