Women's Right-to-Vote Coalition 100th Anniversary

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Partner Organizations

Bike Newton

John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton

League of Women Voters Newton

Historic Newton

Newton North HS Center for Civic Engagement & Service

Suffrage 100 MA

Newton Girl Scouts

Women's Club of Newton Highlands

Newton Free Library

Newton Human Rights Commission

Massachusetts Historical Society

United Citizens for Housing Affordability in Newton

Did You Know? A Few Suffrage Facts

The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, but not all women could vote.  For example, black women in the south were prohibited from casting their ballots in many states until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. 

Suffragists toiled for almost 100 years before the 19th Amendment was passed.

American suffrage supporters were known as suffragists. The term “suffragettes” was used to deride militant suffragists who belonged to the Women’s Social and Political Union in the United Kingdom.  The ending “ette,” implying small (e.g., kitchenette versus kitchen), was meant to diminish them. The members of the WSPU decided to embrace this term and proudly called themselves suffragettes.

Even today, some states continue to create obstacles to minority voting. 

Yellow/Gold was the color of NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association), the lead suffrage organization. Once parades were utilized as a campaign strategy, NAWSA also used white.  Purple, gold, and white were the colors of the rival and more militant National Woman's Party led by Alice Paul.  Purple, white and gold represented loyalty (to the cause), purity (quality of purpose), and life or hope.  

The suffragist movement grew out of abolitionism.  While abolitionists agreed the goal should be universal suffrage (voting rights for blacks and women), a schism occurred over timing.  Some activists like Frederick Douglass believed that it was most important to adopt a 15th Amendment and enfranchise black men first.  Lucy Stone,  Julia Ward Howe, and Antoinette Brown, were disappointed that the 15th Amendment did not include women but agreed to support it while continuing to work for woman suffrage. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton opposed the 15th Amendment and argued that educated women should be enfranchised before black men.

Stone and her allies formed the American Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony and Stanton formed the rival National Woman Suffrage Association. They did not reconcile until 1890, when the National American Woman Suffrage Association was formed.




View NewTV and LWVN's The League Presents - Fredie Kay

Marcia Johnson talks with Fredie Kay about the Suffrage 100 Year Centennial and League of Women Voters' 100th birthday celebration.

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