19th Amendment 100th anniversary celebration begins

AMES — A celebration kicks off today to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.

Doris Kelley is the chair of the celebration committee. “We’ve been working on the 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration since 2017. There’s a number of organizations involved in this endeavor — as a matter of fact, there are 17 different organizations — and then you add the league (of women voters) to it and the 11 chapters, we come up to 28 different organizations involved,” Kelley says.

Kelley says they took some time to come up with the theme. “Hard won, not done. That is the theme for the 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration statewide,” she says.

Kelley says the “hard won” part is the 70 years it took fighting to get the vote.  And the “not done” part is the work to continue gaining equality for women in a number of areas. “Women do not make the same salary — there’s a lot of issues — and it appears that in many instances, women are taking a step back,” Kelley says. “So, definitely we’re not done. There is more work that has to be done.”

The opening event is this morning in Ames. “That will take place at the Iowa State University Memorial Union and it will start at 11:30. It’s free to the public and we’ll start, believe it or not the Iowa PBS premiere of “Carrie Chapman Catt Warrior For Women” documentary, and then we will have different activities throughout the day,” Kelley says.

You can go to the celebration website to find out more about the events.