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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

Today is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Following up on a previous conversation, I was pleased to see Google observing the day on its home page:

google_august18-2010

However, it’s actually another day, August 26, that has been set aside to honor women’s suffrage. The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920 (with Tennessee becoming the 36th state to ratify), but the Amendment was officially certified as law a week later, on August 26, 1920. So it was the latter date, August 26, that was designated by Congress in 1971 as Women’s Equality Day.

Yep, that’s right: August 26 every year is officially Women’s Equality Day in the United States. Have you ever seen it observed? Ever? Anywhere? By anybody?

Here at EVE, we think Women’s Equality Day ought to be a federal holiday—day off from work, government offices shut down, sheet sales at Bed Bath & Beyond, the whole bit. But we’re open to other suggestions. What do you think?

Should Women's Equality Day be a federal holiday?

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Of course, a holiday is more than just a day on the calendar. It needs to be celebrated. People need to actually pay attention to it and do something in honor of the day. For this poll, you can choose more than one option:

How should Women's Equality Day be observed?

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5 Responses
  1. Hedonia says:

    Children should celebrate it in school and have an entire unit of study about the conditions under which women lived before they had the right to vote and about the struggle to get the vote.

  2. EVE says:

    That is an excellent idea.

    What about the date? Are all kids back in school by August 26? I know when I was a kid, we went back to school around Labor Day.

  3. marille says:

    I am voting for something like last Monday in August because this would fall into the school year. it has to be taught like MLk day with history facts from the milestones to get to the vote. starting from the convention in 1848, the arrest of Susan B Anthony for voting in NY, to the giant parade in 1913, the Western campaign in 1915, the picketing of the white house in 1917, the arrests and the night of horror, Alice Paul’s hungerstrike, to the 19th amendment.
    the festivities could come with greeting cards like valentine to your favorite female representative, and of course 50% off sales.

  4. EVE says:

    Okay, I found this:

    Three states already mandate that schools cannot begin before Labor Day – Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. And in Wisconsin, Iowa and North Carolina, schools cannot begin prior to September 1.

    So the school thing won’t work, at least not in all states.

  5. Nancy Foye-Cox says:

    I would like to see any government employee allowed to take Women’s Equality Day as an optional paid holiday. This is already true in Florida for State employees on Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday.