When the 19th Amendment was ratified on this day in 1920, Philadelphia was the largest city and Pennsylvania was by far the largest state in which women had not previously had the right to vote.
Several Pennsylvanians had been prominent leaders in the long struggle to secure woman suffrage. Women like Dora Lewis and Caroline Katzenstein were active in the Pennsylvania and national branches of both the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and the National Woman’s Party (NWP), the two organizations most responsible for the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment. When the 19th Amendment was officially added to the Constitution in 1920, Pennsylvania women could take a great deal of credit.
The Caroline Katzenstein, Dora Lewis, and other collections of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania contain numerous documents that will allow teachers and students to explore and analyze this under-recognized chapter of state and national history. Click here to view the unit plan and other resources.