Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

100 Years Later: The Complicated History Of The Women's Suffrage Movement

New Jersey suffragettes tour the city on their final round of 'stump speeches' for the 19th amendment. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
New Jersey suffragettes tour the city on their final round of 'stump speeches' for the 19th amendment. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

We look back at the last century of voting and examine how women and women of color have impacted our politics.


Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th, a nonprofit news organization reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. (@emarvelous)

Lisa Tetrault, professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in the history of U.S. women and gender. Author of “The Myth of Seneca Falls.” (@LisaTetrault2)

Adele Logan Alexander, granddaughter of African American suffragist Adella Hunt Logan. She taught history for many years at George Washington University. Author of “Princess of the Hither Isles.”

From The Reading List

New York Times: “Opinion: The 19th Amendment: An Important Milestone in an Unfinished Journey” — “Historians who specialize in voting rights and African-American women’s history have played a welcome and unusually public role in combating the myths that have long surrounded the women’s suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment, which celebrates its 100th anniversary on Tuesday.”

Wall Street Journal: “Black Women’s Long Struggle for Voting Rights” — “On March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration, more than 5,000 women gathered in Washington, D.C. for a “suffrage parade” demanding the right to vote.”

Washington Post: “Women’s suffrage was a giant leap for democracy. We haven’t stuck the landing yet.” — “The House delayed the vote as long as it could.”

NBC News: “Women’s suffrage myths and the lesser known women suffragists” — “This year marks 100 years since the passage of the 19th amendment, which sought to guarantee all American women the right to vote.”

Minnesota Star Tribune: “100 years later, today’s activists can learn from suffrage movement” — “The fact that voting rights are still so contested today — from Georgia’s purge of its voter rolls in 2018 to the debate over mail-in ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic — speaks to just how powerful the vote remains in U.S. politics.”

New York Times: “100 Years Later, These Activists Continue Their Ancestors’ Work” — “Black Lives Matter protesters violently cleared by federal forces from Lafayette Square this June were the latest Americans to bring their demand for justice to the doorstep of a sitting president.”

PBS NewsHour: “100 years after women’s suffrage, work remains in achieving equality” — “This week it will be 100 years since the 19th Amendment was passed, giving women in America the hard-fought right to vote.”

Smithsonian Magazine: “How the 19th Amendment Complicated the Status and Role of Women in Hawai’i” — “When the 19th Amendment was finally ratified on August 18, 1920, some women in Hawaiʻi wasted no time in submitting their names to fill seats in government.”

This article was originally published on

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit