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Rightfully Hers

August 2020

Max Chambers Library and the National Archives commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with Rightfully Hers. The popup exhibit contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women's voting rights before and after the amendment, and its impact today. In addition, some early 20th century photos from UCO's image collections are included.

The Rightfully Hers display was created by the National Archives and is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, and Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

For more information about the exhibit and the full text for each panel, click the link below

Rightfully Hers Exhibit Booklet

Panel 1: Before the 19th Amendment

When the nation's founders drafted the Constitution in 1787, they made no mention of women in the document that outlined how our Government was to operate. At the time, women were generally excluded from political and, in many ways, public life. Enslaved women were excluded entirely. White women were considered under the protection and authority of their husbands or fathers. In most cases, they could not vote, own property, make contracts, go to court, or control any money they earned.

Panel 2: How Did Women Win the Vote?

To win access to the polls, a diverse group of suffragists-individuals who supported giving voting rights to women-fought for more than 70 years using many different strategies. Over time, these tactics won the political support necessary for ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.

Panel 3: A Constitutional Victory

''The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." ---19th Amendment, August 18, 1920

The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate. It enshrined in the United States Constitution fuller citizenship for women and a more expansive democracy for the nation.

Panel 4: What voting rights struggles persist?

Even after the 19th Amendment was ratified, millions of women remained unable to vote. The 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment has seen voting rights expanded to millions more women after struggles against voter discrimination succeeded. Even today, people continue to fight to expand and protect voting rights.

Date: ca 1920s 
Description: First women delegates of Oklahoma County to attend the Oklahoma State Convention held in Muskogee after the November 5, 1918 adoption of universal suffrage to women in Oklahoma. Seated at table with pen, Anna Burke Love, superintendent of schools and sitting to her right, Winifred McGowan Dailey, delegate from Edmond.
Collection: Archives & Special Collections, Max Chambers Library, University of Central Oklahoma. Laboratory of History Museum Photograph Collection.

Date: 1915 
Description: Several men of the Central State Normal School “Night Shirt” Brigade display their finest night gowns with several items associated with women of the time period and mockingly campaign for women suffrage. The sign in the back reads, "Votes for Women".
Collection: Archives & Special Collections, Max Chambers Library, University of Central Oklahoma. Glass Plate Negative Collection.