Long Beach Suffrage Centennial
This year, 2020 the centennial of the constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote in the United States. To commemorate this event, the Historical Society of Long Beach is planning an exhibition recognizing women’s roles in our city’s history.
Californians gave women the vote before most other states, via a 1911 referendum. Long Beach played an exemplary role in that election; it was the only city where the majority of men in every precinct voted yes. Even before that vote, women secured critical roles in Long Beach’s history. Our exhibition, A Woman’s Place in the Spotlight, will tell the stories of these women along with the stories of those whose work further developed the community.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Long Beach Suffrage History
Long Beach played a special role in women’s suffrage. While federal law did not allow women to vote until the historic 19th Constitutional Amendment was ratified in 1920, women in California earned the right to vote in October 1911. Earlier that year, on May 17th, hundreds of female delegates gathered in our lovely city of Long Beach at the Hotel Virginia for the Tenth Annual Convention of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs, representing 25,000 members throughout the state. The meeting was inspirational, and clubs across California dedicated their efforts to the suffrage movement. These pioneering women successfully earned the right to vote for California women nine years prior to the Federal Constitutional Amendment, making California the largest democracy in the world where women could vote.
Long Beach Suffrage Circle of Women, Community Group
On March 5, 2019, Long Beach City Council recognized The Long Beach Suffrage Centennial and the Suffrage Circle of Women. The Suffrage Circle has begun making plans for events, performances, and educational programs. Their mission is to lift the City of Long Beach in a year-long celebration acknowledging the work of all women’s struggles for the right to vote, including the central role that Long Beach played in the fight for women’s rights, which is celebrated annually on August 26th as National Women’s Equality Day. Visit the Long Beach Suffrage website, facebook page, Instagram, or contact Zoe Nicholson, for more information.
The American Suffrage Centennial is a revolution of remembering and honoring those who have waited patiently to be recognized, celebrated, and placed firmly in this country’s history. Statues, homes, events, terrible losses, and gigantic successes will be lifted for all to see. Invisible No More.
Feminist historians, Women’s Studies teachers, Women’s organizations and Voting advocates have been anticipating the 100th Anniversary of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment for decades. On August 26, 2020, the 19th Amendment will be one hundred years old. Each city, each state, each woman and girl has something to celebrate ~ THE VOTE. Every county and town has a story to tell about their unique achievement of suffrage.