The US marked the centennial of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote on Wednesday with celebrations of the “historic victory” as well as pleas by female politicians to honor the milestone by voting in November’s presidential election.
The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was formally certified on Aug. 26, 1920, after decades of struggle by suffragettes.
It states, “the right of citizens of the US to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any State on account of sex.”
The date is marked in the US each year as Women’s Equality Day.
For the women’s suffrage movement, the amendment’s ratification was a realization of the Constitution’s first phrase, “We the People” - although it would take until 1965 for the rights of Black women and men to vote to be protected.
In New York’s Central Park, a statue of three 19th century pioneers of women’s suffrage, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was unveiled, all of whom had died by the time women could vote.
Last week, President Donald Trump issued a pardon to Anthony, who was fined for voting illegally in 1872.
Later on Wednesday, national landmarks will be lit up in purple and gold, the symbolic colors of the suffrage movement.
“Women’s suffrage is a long story of hard work and heartache crowned by victory,” Carrie Chapman Catt, the founder of the US League of Women Voters, said in 1920.