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Women's Suffrage Centennial - August 18, 1920-2020: Home

2020 marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's right to vote. Browse the resources below or check your Delaware Public Library shelves : 324.6; 973.91

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal. . . . In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object.

—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments, 1848

The 19th Amendment was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920‚Äč


Delaware’s Struggle for Women’s Right to Vote

On Saturday, March 7, at 10:30 a.m., the Delaware Public Archives will present a program that commemorates Delaware’s 100th anniversary of women’s struggle for the right to vote. During the spring of 1920, all political eyes were on the First State. The General Assembly was meeting in special session to consider ratifying the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote. Thirty-five states had ratified; only one more was needed. In this struggle, women experienced a formidable and surprising foe; other women. Nowhere is that more evident than in Delaware, where a massive battle to be the last state to ratify the amendment took place. On June 2, 1920 The Women’s Committee of Delaware Opposed to Women’s Suffrage effectively lobbied the state legislature who voted down the amendment. Anne Boylan and Emily Green will share the stage to discuss both the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements that were active in the First State.


Anne M. Boylan taught at the University of Delaware for 30 years before retiring in 2016.  She is now Professor Emerita of History and Women and Gender Studies at UD. After receiving the PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973, she taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of New Mexico, before coming to Delaware in 1985. A social historian of the United States, she does research and writes on women’s history, social and cultural history, voluntary associations, and religion.  She is the guest curator for the UD Library’s Special Collections exhibit “Votes for Delaware Women.”

Emily Green is a local Delawarean, graduating from Dover High School in 2008. She earned her undergraduate degree in history from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her graduate degree in American history from Pace University. Her graduate thesis focused on the role played by women in opposing the second wave of feminism and the resurgence of conservatism in post-WWII America. She began her teaching career at Caesar Rodney High School where she taught AP United States History and AP Human Geography. She now teaches Contemporary World History and AP World History at Polytech High School.  

The program is free to the public and will last approximately 75 minutes.  No reservations are required.  For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail



Our thanks to Sarah Granda, Delaware Public Archives, for her assistance with this guide.

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