In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day.
The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the
19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and
WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.
Michigan was one of the first states to ratify the 19th amendment, in June of 1919. It took another 14 months for the rest of the country to do the same.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are considered to be the heroes of the women’s suffrage movement. In Northville, Dr. Mary Lapham was an early suffragist. Other local women who participated in the suffrage movement included Camilla Dubuar, Maude Parmenter, and Frances, Georgia, Mary and Helen Yerkes. All of these are familiar names in Northville.
By Martha Michalak