Women's Power, Women's Vote
Women have struggled for equal treatment under the law throughout the history of the United States. The fight for personal agency, equality and power has required women to transform the world around them but also to redefine their own roles. Texas women have approached this challenge with their own sense of mission, through activism and using the platform of women’s organizations. Women were not wholly unified in their efforts, and divisions were often reflective of broader conflicts over race, class and belief systems.
The passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, established a fundamental component in the ongoing evolution of women as citizens. With the power to vote, women could cast their collective eye on directly shaping policies and issues that mattered to them and to the nation.
"Women’s Power, Women’s Vote" celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, which was approved by Texas on June 28, 1919, making it the ninth of the needed 36 states for national approval. This exhibit explores the motivations behind and evolution of this struggle. The personal collections of Texas women and government records document this history through original pamphlets, correspondence, photographs, organizational records, legislation, artifacts and audio recordings.
The 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution after Tennessee became the 36th state to approve the measure. Women’s suffrage thus took effect August 26, 1920.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission thanks Lammes Candies, The Steeping Room and the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas for their support of the Grand Opening and Panel Talk on Women's Suffrage held on June 18, 2019, in conjunction with the “Women’s Power, Women’s Vote” exhibit.