An event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Minnesota’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, which expanded voting for women, will be hosted noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Minnesota State Capitol.
On June 4, 1919, the U.S. Congress approved the women suffrage amendment as the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and sent it to the states for ratification. Minnesota became the 15th state to vote “yes” to ratify on Sept. 8, 1919, during a special session of the state Legislature.
While some saw this moment as the end of a long 72-year fight, Minnesota suffragist Clara Ueland noted it was actually just the beginning.
"Today is the commencement rather than the end of our work,” she said.
Indeed, the 19th Amendment did not provide access to the ballot for all women. Most notably, Native Americans were not enfranchised until 1924, and most people of color couldn't exercise their right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The work to promote and defend voting rights continues today, inspired by the activists, advocates and suffragists who paved the way.
Minnesota Women’s Suffrage Day will include:
A commemorative program in the Capitol rotunda with many featured speakers and guests, including: Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon; Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison; Minnesota Auditor Julie Blaha; Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea; state Sen. Carla J. Nelson; Minnesota state Sen. Sandy Pappas; state Rep. Anne Neu; Minnesota Rep. Dean Urdahl; Minnesota Rep. Samantha Vang; Former Minnesota Secretary of State Joan Growe; and Josie R. Johnson.
Activities at the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial, including a suffrage parade and rally, and recognition of descendants of women represented on the memorial.
Marching band performances from Robbinsdale Cooper High School and the University of Minnesota.
A civic engagement fair, voter registration, traveling suffrage exhibit, food trucks and family fun activities.
The schedule along with a full list of activities and speakers can be found at www.lwvMinnesota.org/minnesota-womens-suffrage-day. The event is nonpartisan, free and open to the public. Past and present female elected officials are also invited to take part in a special photo on the Capitol steps.