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Breaking Barriers: Women's Suffrage

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Social Studies +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources - including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles - explore how women organized, petitioned, marched, and spoke out for the removal of barriers to full voting rights for women during the 19th and early 20th centuries. While the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, the extent to which this change to the voting laws included all women and what it has meant for voting rights through today remain points of debate. Resources address how groups and individuals sought to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of women, highlight the often overlooked perspectives and actions of women of color during the suffrage movement, and offer insight into the legacy of the organizations and women who fought for passage of the 19th Amendment. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with Tess Porter, Digital Content Producer at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: voting, suffrage, women, protest, 19th Amendment, African American, Mary Church Terell, Ida B. Wells, Belva Ann Lockwood, Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Anna Julia Cooper, Jeannette Pickering Rankin, Victoria Woodhull,  Wyoming, Suffragette, Suffragist, Fannie Lou Hamer, Felisa Rincón de Gautier, Zitkala-Ša, Susette LaFlesche Tibbles, Alice Paul, ERA, civil rights, women’s rights, Edith Mayo, protest, boycott, #NHD

Woman Suffrage Wagon

National Museum of American History

Letter Describing the 1913 Suffrage Parade

National Museum of American History

Photograph: Lucy Branham with Banner

National Museum of American History

Alice Paul’s "Jailed for Freedom" Pin

National Museum of American History

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

National Portrait Gallery

Mary Church Terrell

National Portrait Gallery

Mary Church Terrell

National Portrait Gallery

Belva Ann Lockwood

National Portrait Gallery

Belva Ann Lockwood

National Portrait Gallery

Sojourner Truth

National Portrait Gallery

Mary McLeod Bethune

National Portrait Gallery

44c Anna Julia Cooper single

National Postal Museum

Banner with motto of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs

National Museum of African American History and Culture

#APeoplesJourney: African American Women and the Struggle for Equality

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Jeannette Pickering Rankin

National Portrait Gallery

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Fan

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Flag

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard, 1911

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Button

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage "Objection" Banner

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage "Answer" Banner

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Answer Banner

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Objection Banner

National Museum of American History

Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcard

National Museum of American History

Anti-Woman Suffrage Figurine

National Museum of American History

Presidential Campaign Advertisement, 1920

National Museum of American History

Presidential Campaign Advertisement, 1920

National Museum of American History

Felisa Rincón de Gautier

National Portrait Gallery

Fannie Lou Hamer

National Portrait Gallery

Zitkala-sa

National Portrait Gallery

Susette LaFlesche Tibbles

National Portrait Gallery

Alice Paul

National Portrait Gallery

ERA Charm Bracelet (I)

National Museum of American History

Anti-ERA Button, 1972-1982

National Museum of American History

Button, ERA is for Everyone, Sally Ride

National Air and Space Museum

ERA demonstration

National Museum of American History

Alice Paul Memorial March in Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Official poster for the 2017 Women's March on Washington

National Museum of African American History and Culture