PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Women's Suffrage: 99 Years and Counting

Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]
Suffragettes picketing in 1917.

Passed by Congress in June of 1919, then ratified on August 18th of 1920, and officially adopted eight days later on August 26th, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote. But, the movement began long before 1920. Beginning in the mid-19th century, woman – and some men – wrote, lectured, marched and lobbied to achieve what many Americans of the time considered to be radical change. Very few of the movement’s early supporters actually lived to see it succeed.

On today’s show we’re marking the 99th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passage, in advance of an event on Sunday, August 25th from 5-7:00 p.m. at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers called A Toast to Tenacity. It’s being presented by Vision 2020 in partnership with the Fort Myers Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Progressive Women of Southwest Florida. It will feature a short performance from “The Agitators,” a play by Mat Smart about the lifelong friendship between suffragist Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. It will also include short spoken-word performances by local citizens who will help tell the stories of key members of the women’s suffrage movement, including a number of African American women who played important roles.

We're joined by Audrea Anderson, she is on the governing board of Progressive Women of SWFL, and past president of the Fort Myers Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and a former Vice President at Florida Gulf Coast University. And, Maddie Stewart, who is also on the Progressive Women of SWFL’s governing board, and is a delegate with Vision 2020.