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June 10, 2019

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Wisconsin

"For 53 years," Theodora Winton Youmans wrote in the June 12, 1919 edition of the Wood County Reporter, "the woman suffrage question has been presented in some way to each session of the Congress of the United States." In June 1919, it was finally close to resolution when the Nineteenth Amendment was finally passed into law and set to the states to ratify. Youmans was one of the first women journalists and the president of the Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Association (WWSA) when Wisconsin ratified the amendment. Her words can be widely read in archived newsletters and newspapers, and paint a vivid picture of some of the arguments and issues of the time.

Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration, Wisconsin State Capitol, June 10, 2019
Women were the engines of change, fighting for the right to vote for decades. While the conventional Wisconsin women's suffrage story tends to focus on the final frenzy of ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment and the subsequent rush to be first to file it in Washington D.C., the story of women's suffrage in Wisconsin is both rich and lengthy, stretching back to the origins of the state. Before women enjoyed full voting rights, they fought for limited rights to serve in office and vote in school elections.

June 10, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin's ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Throughout the month of June, the David T. Prosser Jr. Library will host a display featuring historical briefs and laws, related books, and photos and newspaper articles of the time.

Women's Suffrage Display at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library
Come into the library to read through these first hand. This display is set up so you can pick up individual pieces to examine them more closely. Don't miss our newsletter feature articles, Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Wisconsin and Women’s Suffrage Legislation in Wisconsin, or our blog posts featuring Supreme Court briefs related to women's suffrage: Brown v. Phillips and Gilkey v. McKinley.

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