August 26, 2010 marks the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States. On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment legally took effect after Tennessee became the thirty–sixth state to ratify it on August 18, securing the three–fourths majority of states needed for its adoption. Join Scholastic in celebrating this important event in US history by attending an event, visiting a museum, or planning a classroom activity for your students.

Many organizations around the US are holding events to commemorate this anniversary. Head over to the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, NY to enjoy the 19th Amendment Festival on August 21, which will feature live music by the Hochstein School of Music and reduced admission to the Anthony House.

The Framingham History Center in Framingham, MA will be re-enacting the journey of Josephine Collins, a local businesswoman, on September 26. The event, called "March to the Vote," will illustrate Collins’s trip from Framingham to Boston on her fight for women’s suffrage.

Over in Huntington, West Virginia, students from Marshall University will be marching in the Women’s Equality Day Parade on August 24 and invite members of the community to come and join them.

For those of you on the West Coast, a trip to the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles will bring to life the early days of the suffrage movement in the Their Rights and Nothing Less exhibit, open every Friday-Sunday until September 26.

In Dallas, TX at the Women’s Museum, a lunch and 90th anniversary program are planned for August 25, and a special exhibit on the women’s suffrage movement in Texas will be featured until September 21.

Older students in the DC area may be interested in a panel discussion entitled “Ain’t I a Woman: A Complicated Story of Women’s Suffrage in Black and White,” which will feature three remarkable speakers in the field of women’s rights history. The panel will take place in the National Archives Building on August 26.

Female students in Montgomery County, TN in grades 7-12 are invited to enter a speech competition on the subject of women’s suffrage, and the winner will receive a $250 cash prize. The deadline to enter is August 16, and the speech contest is scheduled for August 22.

Teachers not located in Tennessee can hold speech competitions in their own classrooms, however! Or, they can read this speech by First Lady Michelle Obama given to the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor on June 11. To host your own in-class celebration, check out these women's suffrage anniversary posters, banners, balloons, and videos.

Museums

For field trips during any time of the school year, the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY is home to several landmarks of the women’s suffrage movement.

Start by visiting the Wesleyan Chapel, where the first women’s rights national convention was held, known as the Seneca Falls Convention. One hundred of its attendees signed the Declaration of Sentiments, a document that made clear the numerous inequalities at the time with regard to women’s rights, including the inability to vote.

From there, head over to the homes of women’s right leaders who lived in the area, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, the Hunt House, and the M’Clintock House.

Outside of the national park but nearby in Rochester, NY is the Susan B. Anthony House, a museum dedicated to educating visitors about the life and work of one of our most famous female pioneers.

Students in Texas can benefit from an entire museum dedicated to women’s history in the US at the Women’s Museum in Dallas. In addition to its numerous permanent exhibits, the museum features free special and traveling exhibitions and summer enrichment programs.

For a full-day field trip in Washington, DC, check out the Women’s Suffrage Walking Tour, a self-guided walk to important landmarks of the fight for the vote.

If you aren’t located near these museums or don’t have time to take your class, a great alternative is to visit the online exhibits of the National Women’s History Museum, an organization currently in the process of establishing a physical museum in Washington, DC.

Online Resources

Celebrating this momentous anniversary doesn’t require leaving the classroom; there are dozens of online activities and resources for teachers to plan an eventful lesson.

Start by showing your class what the 19th Amendment looks like and discussing its language. Then, take a look at this timeline to put the amendment into historical context.

To explore other relevant documents, check out these primary sources from the National Archives.

Scholastic’s own women’s suffrage website presents an overview of important events, a comparison with other countries, and a story of a woman who to this day remembers what it was like to gain the right to vote.

To better understand the subject of women’s rights at the beginning of our nationhood, have your class read this correspondence between John and Abigail Adams in 1776, where Abigail begs her husband to “remember the ladies.”

Visual learners will benefit from this collection of images and photographs featuring parades, portraits, cartoons, and even anti-suffrage demonstrations.

And finally, challenge your students with this short and interesting quiz about the history of the women’s suffrage movement.