Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after legislation was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.
See the details documented below!!!!
Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day:
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex;
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and
WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26 of each year is designated as “Women’s Equality Day,” and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.
Because women in New Jersey had the right to vote from 1776-1807, and there were no records kept of what time each voted in the first election there, the name of the first woman in the United States to vote is lost in the mists of history.
Later, other jurisdictions granted women the vote, sometimes for limited purpose (such as Kentucky allowing women to vote in school board elections beginning in 1838).
They have several claimants to being the first woman to vote under the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As with many forgotten “firsts” of women’s history, it’s possible that documentation will later be found about others who voted early.
One claim to “first woman to vote under the 19th Amendment” comes from South St. Paul, Minnesota. Women had been able to cast votes in a 1905 special election in the city of South St. Paul; their votes were not counted, but they were recorded. In that election, 46 women and 758 men voted. When word came on August 26, 1920, that the 19th Amendment had been signed into law, South St. Paul quickly scheduled a special election the next morning on a water bond bill, and at 5:30 a.m., eighty women voted.
Now to bring us up to date, I just wanted to highlight a few African American Women 1st from 2009-2015 and celebrate them along with all the other women who have impacted and empowered us as African American Women!
- First African-American woman Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Lisa P. Jackson
- First African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for History: Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
- First African-American doubles team to be named year-end world champion by the International Tennis Federation: Serena and Venus Williams
- First African-American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Cheryl Boone Isaacs
- First African-American female Republican to be elected to the United States Congress: Mia Love, elected in Utah
- First African-American woman to be nominated for Best Director by the Golden Globe Awards: Ava DuVernay for Selma
- First African-American woman to be Attorney General of the United States: Loretta Lynch
I Salute Our Strong, Smart, Purpose-Driven Women On Today And Everyday!