Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote

Friday, May 10, 2019 - Sunday, January 3, 2021
Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery

Opening in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery May 10

Most Americans consider the ability to vote fundamental to the enjoyment of full citizenship. American women, however, were long denied that right. In 1920, American democracy dramatically expanded when the newly ratified 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited the states from denying the vote on the basis of sex. 

This landmark voting rights victory was made possible by decades of suffragists’ persistent political engagement, and yet it is just one critical milestone in women’s battle for the vote. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote highlights the relentless struggle of diverse activists throughout U.S. history to secure voting rights for all American women.

See the documents and photos featured in the exhibit:


See more about the Rightfully Hers exhibit online:


A Traveling Exhibit from the National Archives:

One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women

When our Constitution was written, it was silent on women. Excluded from most of the rights and privileges of citizenship women operated in limited and rigid roles while enslaved women were excluded from all. Yet women have actively participated as citizens—organizing, marching, petitioning—since the founding of our country. Sometimes quietly, and sometimes with a roar, women’s roles and the opening words of the Constitution “We, the People” have been redefined.

See the documents and photos from the traveling exhibit:

Exhibition Travel Dates and Locations: 


National Archives Foundation Logo

Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote was created by the exhibits staff at the National Archives Museum and presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation, Google, HISTORY ®, and Jacqueline B. Mars.
 
One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration, and traveled by the National Archives Traveling Exhibits Services (NATES). This exhibition was developed in collaboration with the National Archives' Rightfully Hers National Outreach Initiative to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. It is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, and AARP. Additional support provided by AT&T, Facebook, and FedEx.