The 19th Amendment –
Tucked away behind the U.S. Capitol and across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court sits a historic building that served as the headquarters of the National Woman’s Party — home of the movement to recognize women’s right to vote. Named after suffragists Alva Belmont and Alice Paul, Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument houses an unparalleled collection of women’s suffrage artifacts honoring the efforts that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and signed into law on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment guaranteed that the right of citizens to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
This historic milestone took decades of community organizing and political prowess to achieve. And yet, the passage of the 19th Amendment marked progress, not victory, in allowing all women the right to vote. Many women were excluded from the protections of the 19th Amendment because of their race, cultural affiliation, class, inability to read and write, and other factors.
In this way, the passage of the 19th amendment is only one chapter of a larger story still unfolding today.
More than a Moment
National parks across the country share stories of visionary women, trailblazers who dared to imagine a different future. As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we must help expand the stories and perspectives shared through national parks.
It is critical that we recognize centuries of unrecognized and under-recognized sacrifices and contributions to the U.S. made by women, including Black women, Indigenous women, and all women of color.
We must highlight the contributions women have made to our country and the role they continue to play in our ever-evolving narrative.
Then, Now, and Beyond
The National Park Foundation has launched a new fund to support projects and programs that help the National Park Service share a more comprehensive and inclusive American narrative that amplifies the voices of women whose vision, tenacity, and resilience moved them to climb mountains, take down barriers, protect the environment, and lead social movements. The initiative will increase awareness about the 19th Amendment’s centennial and raise funds for national parks and park programs that highlight stories of women who made history and continue to shape our future.
The National Park Foundation gratefully acknowledges and recognizes those individuals, corporations, and foundations who have made leadership gifts in support of the Women in Parks initiative.
- Ms. Susan Byrd and Mr. Mark Lampert
- Free People
- John G. and Jean R. Gosnell Foundation
- Ellen Malcolm
- David Marchick
- Carolyn L. Miller
- Wea Ohrstrom Nichols
- Nancy Nordhoff
- Ms. Alison Peacock
- Louise Stephens
- Sarah Stephens
- Regina and James Williams
- Adam Yenser
How You Can Help
The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, welcomes your support of this new initiative. Our national parks have long relied on private philanthropy in addition to federal funding to protect parks and make them accessible to all. This public-private partnership underscores the belief that national parks are for all of us, we all have a place in them, and we all have a role in protecting them.
- Give today. By supporting the Women In Parks Fund, your donations will go to the park programs that most need help. The National Park Foundation will be able to work with the National Park Service and park partners to assess needs and to provide funding for these new efforts. Your generosity is essential to protecting these treasured places for current and future generations.
- You can join this movement by fundraising with the National Park Foundation. Whether you host your own party, celebrate a birthday, or post on social media, your support will be essential to protecting these treasured places for future generations.
- You can also support the parks as you Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque. Beyond the most iconic national parks, there are also lesser-known national parks with equally scenic vistas, as well as parks where American history was made. From memorializing the lives of the young immigrants who labored in textile mills at Lowell National Historical Park to celebrating those who supported the war effort at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, you can find women’s history in every park.