IU McKinney School of Law joins League of Women Voters in suffragist celebration

  • Aug. 25, 2015


INDIANAPOLIS -- The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1920,  gave women the right to vote, opening the democratic process to what is now over half of the American population.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, in conjunction with the League of Women Voters, will celebrate the 95th anniversary of women's suffrage on Wednesday with a legal education program and luncheon, followed by an evening of special presentations. Tickets for both events are available for purchase at SheVOTES.eventbrite.com.

The legal education program and luncheon will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Propylaeum, 1410 N. Delaware St. The topic will be "The New Voter Suppression and the Constitution." The program offers one CLE for attorneys who attend. Registration is $35 for attorneys and $25 for others. Seating is limited.

The evening presentation, "She Votes 1920-2015: 95th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage" will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Propylaeum. Programming features suffragist re-enactors, fun educational competitions and guest speakers, Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. The Spotlight Brass Band will provide live music for the free event, open to the public with reservations required.  A "meet and greet" opportunity with food and beverages is available to donors of $25 or more.

"The milestone of getting women the right to vote in the United States required a lengthy and difficult struggle," said a statement from the League event organizers. "Multiple generations of woman suffrage supporters crossed the country giving speeches, marching in public parades, lobbying and at times engaged in civil disobedience to attain what many Americans then considered too radical a change of the U.S. constitution.

"Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters on the premise that the vote is the 'emblem' of equality, and we are celebrating to commemorate the importance of the franchise for every American citizen," the statement said.

Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 18, 1920, completing the two-thirds majority vote of states needed to ratify the amendment giving women the right to vote. Eight days later, then-Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the amendment and proclaimed it part of the U.S. Constitution.

Diane Brown