Charleston, W. Va. – Secretary of State Mac Warner will host a special ceremony at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, commemorating Women’s Equality Day and the 100th Anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. The ceremony will be hosted virtually and is among several events planned that day throughout the state.
Congress passed the 19th Amendment in June of 1919, and at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of the amendment for it to become law. On March 10, 1920, West Virginia became the 34th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. The Amendment was certified as law at a White House ceremony on August 26, 1920.
Over the past year, Warner’s Office has worked with community, civic, educational and political party leaders throughout the state to coordinate and promote a series of local events to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment. The Coordinating Committee for the West Virginia Centennial Celebration of the 19th Amendment consists of more than 40 individuals, including State Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter and State Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore, who are honorary co-chairs of the Committee.
"Not even a pandemic could keep us from celebrating this historic milestone in our nation's history," Warner said. "It is important for us to recognize the tremendous contributions women have made to our country and to West Virginia."
Wednesday’s ceremony in the Governor's Office will include a special presentation about the history of women’s suffrage in West Virginia and the presentation of a proclamation commemorating the anniversary. The ceremony will be broadcasted live to the Secretary of State’s Facebook Page (Facebook.com/wvsos). Attending with Warner will be representatives from the Governor’s office, West Virginia Women’s Commission, and the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History.
In addition to the ceremony in the Governor's Office, several organizations are hosting events across West Virginia commemorating the occasion, including:
Aug. 25 from 5-6 p.m. in Dunbar – GFCW Woman’s Club of Dunbar hosts the 100th Celebration March. Open to the public. Period attire and signs are encouraged. The march will begin at Econo Lodge (100 Dunbar Ave, in Dunbar) and end at the 13th Street Parking Lot.
Aug. 26 at 11 a.m. (Virtually) – The WV Women’s Commission announces the 2020 Legacy of Women Award Winners. These prestigious awards are given to women who have participated in shaping the state or the nation and our role as women achievers for tomorrow’s female leaders. The awards are named for outstanding women in West Virginia’s history. The event will take place live on the Women’s Commission Facebook page: facebook.com/WVaWomen.
Aug. 26 at 11:00 a.m. in Clarksburg – The Progressive Women's Association of Harrison County will host a presentation on women's suffrage and will feature women who are current or former elected officials. The Harrison County Commission will also present a proclamation declaring "Women's Equality Day" in Harrison County.
Aug. 26, at noon (Virtually) – Kanawha Valley NOW will sponsor a virtual presentation on suffrage and ratification of the 19th Amendment in West Virginia. Zoom Link: https://bit.ly/3gmJ3uF. Zoom Meeting ID: 894 3702 8485. Passcode: 326070.
Aug. 26, at noon in Berkeley Springs – Members of Eastern Panhandle NOW and Daughters of the American Revolution will host a speech regarding suffrage on the Morgan County Courthouse steps. Additionally, the Berkeley Springs Museum will unveil a suffrage display at the event. The display features many women involved in the movement, including local suffragist, Georgia McIntire, a lawyer who had many firsts, including the first woman to try a case in the WV Supreme Court of Appeals.
Aug. 26 at 3:30 p.m. in Huntington – The League of Women Voters of the Huntington Area, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the Marshall University Drinko Academy will host Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration: Driving for Democracy, a celebratory program and vehicle parade. Participants are encouraged to dress and decorate your vehicles in the theme of the event. The parade will start at St. Mary's Center of Education – East Parking Lot: 2853 5th Avenue, Huntington, WV 25702. Learn more about this event and register at https://bit.ly/2Eryd9r.
Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. (Virtually) – Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council will host Courage, Cookies and Cocktails – a virtual event. Learn more and register here: https://bit.ly/3gwXTjp.
Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. (Virtually) – WVU Libraries hosts a virtual talk with Barbara Evans Fleischauer & Eleanor Smeal - Barbara Evans Fleischauer, member of the WV House introduces Eleanor Smeal, former president of the National Organization for Women and publisher of Ms. Magazine. This program will be hosted virtually on Zoom. Register to participate here: https://bit.ly/3aRpYjh.
For more events and information about the Coordinating Committee, visit https://sos.wv.gov/about/Pages/WV19Amend.aspx.