On August 26, 1920, women secured the right to vote with the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this monumental chapter in American history, the First Lady asked children from all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, to showcase individuals, symbols, or events that represent this significant moment in history in her exhibit, titled Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage.
The artwork in this gallery, selected by the First Lady, encompasses the children’s creative and inspiring thoughts. Each artwork represents a location where individuals came together to fight for women’s constitutional rights. The actions of these Americans resulted in a change for all of the women who would follow in their footsteps. Though they were far apart, together, they built the movement. The historic photographs that open and close this exhibit page serve as reminders of all of the suffrage parades, marches, and gatherings that took place outside the White House gates, most of which happened on Pennsylvania Avenue. This exhibit is presented by the Office of the White House Curator in partnership with the Office of the First Lady with support from the WSCC. Historic images courtesy Library of Congress.
By Sofia, age 6, Eclectic, AL
I made a lapel button with a lady representing all women, the slogan because women want to be involved in government, and VOTE with a purple V for Loyalty, a yellow O for Hope, a dark blue T for Social Work, and a green E for a Student, because I am one.
The 49th State Adds 10th Star to the Suffrage Flag
By Emma, age 8, Wasilla, AK
The artwork shows two Alaskan girls holding hands under the Alaska flag. One girl is white and one is an Alaska Native. There are dates under the girls showing when they were allowed to vote. White women could vote in 1913, while Alaska Native women did not have that right until 1924. The 19th Amendment was voted on before Alaska was a state, so it was not involved in the vote but pushed forward the movement for indigenous women to the have right to vote in Alaska and to be considered citizens of the United States.
Centennial of Strength & Unity
By Zach, age 14, Tucson, AZ
I drew a one hundred for the 100th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Movement. Inside the numbers, I drew a red rose for people who were opposed to suffrage and another symbol for those in favor of suffrage. I colored the one hundred yellow to show support for women's right to vote.
By Lydia, age 16, Conway, AR
The artwork is a pen and ink portrait of Hester C. Jeffery. Jeffery was an African American political activist, whose work centered on temperance, racial equality, and women's suffrage. Jeffery advocated for suffrage through her foundation, the Susan B. Anthony Club for African American Women, her representation of the New York Federation of Colored Women at a New York State Woman Suffrage Association convention, and her participation in numerous other suffrage organizations.
Colors of Suffrage
By Maud, age 11, Greenwich, CT
"1920-2020" is written 100 times to mark the 100 years since the 19th Amendment's passing. Significantly, I used different skin tone markers to represent all the cultures of women who joined together over the years to fight for this right to vote and continue to break barriers for women today.
Igniting the Movement
By Monica, age 15, Wilmington, DE
My drawing was done in pen, pencil, and marker. The subject is the March 3rd, 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade. The main focus of the drawing is Inez Milholland, who led the parade on her white horse. I included signs that represent the voices of the women, and the U.S. Capitol, where the parade began.
This Girl is on Fire
By Pheobe, age 13, Washington, D.C.
I drew Lucy Burns, an important suffragist and the co-founder of the National Women's Party. She led hunger strikes and was imprisoned 6 times. When I drew Lucy Burns, I wanted to bridge past and present and make an old portrait of her look modern by using pop art techniques and fire-toned colors.
August 26th Women's Equality Day
By Lucina, age 12, Tallahassee, FL
Mary A. Nolan was the only suffragist from Florida to go to prison as a result of activism. She wanted women to have the right to vote in Florida. She participated in the Women’s Suffrage parade near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Monday March 3, 1913.
Girls Just Wanna Vote
By Lia, age 7, Mililani, HI
In the background of my art I have the red and blue colors that represent the USA. The flowers are a lei that represent the beautiful state that I live in. The words in the flowers are the important ideas of the movement. The girl on the poster is me when I grow up with a ballot in my hand.
Our Voices Matter
By Evalyn, age 11, Idaho Falls, ID
These symbols of Women’s Suffrage gave women across this great country hope that one day their voice would be heard and that they would be able to help shape the future of America. Because these brave women fought, I now have the right (and responsibility) to vote.
The Long March to be Heard
By Caroline, age 12, Indianapolis, IN
I drew an American flag with suffragists getting progressively larger to show how the suffrage movement grew in strength because of the protest marches in the country. I included the male and female symbols with the equal sign to show how women were gaining equality.
Around the Tea Table
By Adria, age 15, Waukee, IA
The five women I included in my painting are: Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann McClintock, Elizabeth C. Stanton, Martha C. Wright, and Jane Hunt. These women organized the Seneca Falls Convention, which was the first women's rights convention held in the U.S. This convention launched the Women's Suffrage Movement. Women's right to vote was achieved seventy years later as a result.
Kansas Sunflower Campaign Button for Women's Right to Vote
By Lulu, age 14, Mission Hills, KS
My piece of art represents Kansas, the “Sunflower State.” It is a campaign button that women wore when they marched to have the right to vote for the President of the United States. The state of Kansas was a trailblazer in the Women's Suffrage Movement. Kansas women achieved voting rights in local and state elections before 1920, and Kansas had the first woman mayor.
Columbia Wears a Red Shawl
By Ruthie, age 9, Louisville, KY
I did a mixed media collage of Susan B. Anthony as Columbia. The background is made of copies of suffragette propaganda. On her crown, dress, and trademark shawl are 50 stars representing the 50 states with the year they made it legal for women to vote. Her torch represents the flame of hope.
Victory and Justice
By Meghan, age 16, Metairie, LA
In the foreground are the Greek goddesses of Justice (left) and Victory (right). These powerful female figures are painted in a 1950's pop art design in order to highlight the connection between female empowerment in ancient Greece and recent America.
Lifting as we climb
By Sophia, age 16, Auburn, ME
Mary Eliza Church Terrell was the daughter of former slaves and a college-graduate who dedicated her life to creating equal opportunities for people of all races and genders. She embraced women’s suffrage by writing, lecturing, and petitioning the government as a social activist well into her 80's.
We Make America
By Vainavi, age 17, Bethesda, MD
My artwork depicts the empowering moment when Alice Paul sewed a new star on the Suffragist flag. To me, the stars represent women’s dreams and achievements that have created America. She has inspired me to advocate against ongoing social issues that stem from gender biases.
Dr. Mary Walker Zentangle
By Lilly, age 15, Newburyport, MA
This is Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman to be awarded a U.S. Medal of Honor, for her work as a Union Army surgeon. She was an early suffragette, suing the Federal Elections Board in 1868, claiming she had the right to vote as an American. She protested inequality by wearing men's clothing.
The Persistence of One
By Abigail, age 12, Owensville, MO
In 1867 Virginia Minor and several other women created the Women's Suffrage Association of Missouri, and Virginia was elected president. She was instrumental in helping women obtain the right to vote through the 19th Amendment. She was a true pioneer, paving the way for women.
A Montanan Among the Stars
By Dakota, age 13, Bozeman, MT
Jeanette Rankin made history in 1916 as the first woman elected to U.S. Congress. After graduating from college, she moved to Washington State and joined the Women’s Suffrage Movement, helping Washington women gain the right to vote in 1910. She returned the fight to Montana, gaining suffrage there in 1914. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 7, 1916 and founded the House Committee on Woman Suffrage that led the charge in 1918 to pass a Constitutional Amendment for Women’s Suffrage. One year later, the 19th Amendment passed both houses and was ratified in 1920.
By Niema, age 17, Las Vegas, NV
The art piece is significant to the 19th Amendment because it features a women openly celebrating her right to vote as a woman. The piece expresses appreciation for the women and men before us who have fought for women to have equal rights such as the right to vote.
The Golden Blaze of Liberty Outburns the Sunset
By Leah, age 18, Bedford, NH
The Statue of Liberty is significant to the 19th Amendment because it is a symbol that represents the freedom of the United States and is a woman. The freedom and rights citizens have in this country should equally apply to men and women.