What is Suffrage?

This year we mark the 100th anniversary of the woman suffrage amendment, and as it turns out, a lot of people don’t really know what “suffrage” means because it's mostly fallen out of common usage. The term has nothing to do with suffering but instead derives from the Latin word “suffragium,” meaning the right or … Continue reading What is Suffrage?

The Movement as a Mosaic: Alice Paul and Woman Suffrage

Our new exhibit “Rightfully Hers” opens in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery in the National Archives Building on May 10, 2019. Today’s post comes from Michael J. Hancock in the National Archives History Office. I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get … Continue reading The Movement as a Mosaic: Alice Paul and Woman Suffrage

Amelia Earhart: Showing What Women Can Do

March is Women’s History Month! Today’s post comes from Danielle Sklarew in the National Archives History Office. Like previous flights, I am undertaking this one solely because I want to, and because I feel that women now and then have to do things to show what women can do. Amelia Earhart sent these words to … Continue reading Amelia Earhart: Showing What Women Can Do

Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s swearing-in as the first African American woman in Congress. To commemorate the historic event, the National Archives is having a special document exhibit in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, through April 3, 2019. Today’s post comes from Michael … Continue reading Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed

The National Archives and 1968: A Year of Triumph and Tragedy

Today's post comes from Kerri Lawrence, Writer-Editor for the National Archives News. This year marks the 50th anniversary of 1968, a year of turmoil and change in the United States and the world.   In reflection, 1968 was a year of triumph and tragedy. International and national events changed the landscape of America and the world around … Continue reading The National Archives and 1968: A Year of Triumph and Tragedy

Betty Ford, Dancer

April 8, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of Betty Ford's birth. Today's post comes from Nikita Buley, a former intern at the National Archives.  Betty Ford was known as a vivacious activist for women's rights. What many don’t know is that she was also a talented modern dancer. Born Elizabeth Bloomer, the future First Lady … Continue reading Betty Ford, Dancer

Betty Ford Danced To Her Own Beat

We're wrapping up Women's History Month. Today’s post comes from Anayeli Nunez at the National Archives History Office. In 1987, Congress declared March National Women’s History Month. Today we use this month to honor women, from the suffragists of the 19th Amendment to today’s proud supporters of the #MeToo movement.  It's also a fitting time to look … Continue reading Betty Ford Danced To Her Own Beat

Change at their fingertips: Women’s petitions to Congress

March is Women's History Month. Today’s post comes from Melanie M. Griffin from the National Archives Education and Public Programs Office. Often when one thinks of the freedoms embedded in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, one doesn't immediately think of the right to petition. A petition is a plea from an individual or a … Continue reading Change at their fingertips: Women’s petitions to Congress

Annie Oakley: A Woman to be Reckoned With

March is Women’s History Month! Today’s post comes from Madie Ward in the National Archives History Office. Among the billions of documents in the National Archives, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero has a favorite: the 1898 letter from Annie Oakley to President William McKinley offering 50 American lady sharpshooters in the Spanish-American War. … Continue reading Annie Oakley: A Woman to be Reckoned With

Putting the “Rat” in Ratification: Tennessee’s role in the 19th amendment

In 1878 Senator Aaron A. Sargent introduced into Congress a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. On June 4, 1919,  after 40 years—and much effort and debate—Congress passed, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, that proposed amendment. It was then up to the states to ratify it.  Many states … Continue reading Putting the “Rat” in Ratification: Tennessee’s role in the 19th amendment