On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was added to the U.S. Constitution. The National Women's Party made this "Ratification Banner" based on their violet, white, and gold flag, adding a new star each time a state ratified the amendment. When the necessary 36th state, Tennessee, ratified the amendment by only one vote on August 18, 1920, Alice Paul unfurled the completed flag from the balcony at NWP headquarters in Washington DC.
Sometimes I think it's easy for us to picture these women as mere names in a history book, instead of women like ourselves, like our mothers and friends.
Women like you and me who were arrested, jailed, and beaten for picketing peacefully. Women who were placed in psychiatric wards and force fed raw eggs when they went on hunger strike to protest their deplorable treatment and the injustice of being denied their rights. I am in awe of their resolve and their sacrifice.
"I think, with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned." -Lucy Stone