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Women’s Equality Day

Today is Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, in which citizens could no longer be denied the right to vote by any state on account of their sex. The fight for the vote was a complex movement marked by cooperative action and racist exclusion, hard-fought victories and unmet expectations, hope and disappointment. It was also part of a longer, ongoing journey by activist women from different backgrounds and varied motivations to build a more just society and create lasting change.

Our new digital experience Democracy Limited: Chicago Women and the Vote will explore women’s activism in Chicago to secure the right to vote—and beyond. Discover the ways women organized to challenge the status quo and how different paths led to a mass movement for suffrage. Find out what the vote did and did not accomplish, and for whom. Connect themes of the past with the present, which remind us that while injustice and inequality may persist, so do activist women. See it now.

Suffragists in Chicago before going to Washington, DC, to participate in a demonstration on March 3, 1913. DN-0060283, Chicago Sun-Times/Chicago Daily News collection, CHM

What would you do for freedom?

In the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the Founding Fathers set out to define American freedom. But they didn’t have the last word. Since then, generations of Americans have built on this foundation, seeking to perfect our ideas of freedom. Our exhibition Facing Freedom in America spotlights eight moments in our nation’s past when Americans struggled over the meaning of freedom, including the right for women to vote. Learn more about the fight for suffrage at the local and national levels during the 1910s. Learn more.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories
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