WI Role in 19th Amendment, Struggles that Still Exist
Friday, August 21, 2020
MADISON, Wis. -- Next week formally marks the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in the United States. Wisconsin played an important role in the 19th Amendment, but there is mixed history behind the movement that's still playing out.
Tennessee often gets attention as the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920 - but a year prior to that, Wisconsin was the first state to approve it.
Simone Munson, collections development coordinator at the Wisconsin Historical Society, said -- like other parts of the country -- the suffragist movement saw plenty of struggles in the Badger State before lawmakers finally took action.
"Wisconsin is not a pro-Temperance state," said Munson. "We did not support the prohibition of alcohol. And so, women in Wisconsin did have an uphill battle when they were advocating for suffrage, because the men often thought that it would align with taking away alcohol."
It wasn't until World War I, when women maintained the economy while men went to battle, that the Legislature took notice.
But Munson said Black women were still prevented in many ways from voting. She noted the 19th Amendment was a launching point for other civil-rights movements, and that calls for equality are still evident in many of today's protests.
Munson said she believes there are many assumptions made by those who have never had hardships casting a ballot. She said she thinks a more comprehensive teaching of the 70-year struggle behind the suffragist movement could open more eyes about other struggles that persist.
"If we look at how we teach history," said Munson, "and if those explanations became more of the conversation in education, it might change how people view the rights they have today."
The 19th Amendment was certified by the U.S. Secretary of State on August 26, 1920.
Next Wednesday, Munson said people are being encouraged to wear white and ring bells at noon, which is how women celebrated 100 years ago. Because of the pandemic, formal celebrations will be held virtually.
get more stories like this via email
A bill in Congress with a Connecticut House sponsor aims to reduce child labor in the United States. Called the "Children Harmed in Life-Threatening …
As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren. Already struggling with the …
As of Jan. 1, insulin will become a lot more affordable for many Nebraskans, and those who have come to rely on telehealth visits are more likely to …
Some state and local lawmakers are on a long list calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to require big oil companies to help offset the costs of …
Utilities and government agencies in the U.S. are carrying out plans to transition to cleaner electricity sources. To avoid being left behind…
Health and Wellness
November has been Diabetes Awareness Month - but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can't lose their focus on keeping it in …
Conservation groups are celebrating a long-fought battle to protect the dwindling population of wolverine in the Northwest and northern Rockies…
As world leaders gather in Dubai for the international conference on climate change, the City of Long Beach is acting on multiple fronts to help the …