Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting

  • Hosted by Sarah Walker

The effort for women's suffrage roiled North Dakota for years, along with the rest of the country. The 19th Amendment finally became law in 1919, so it's a good time to look back at the characters, their arguments and actions, the defeats, close calls, and victories.

Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is a Prairie Public radio series in cooperation with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee, and it’s generously funded by the North Dakota Humanities Council, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

As suffragists worked for their right to vote, they used the holidays to show support for their communities, simultaneously raising awareness for the fight for women’s right to vote.

It was reported that in 1909 in New York, Mrs. Alva Belmont, a financial benefactress and leader of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and the National Woman’s Party, gave two thousand dolls to poor children; and “each… wore a yellow ‘votes for women’ sash.” Newspapers editorialized, “there seems to be some hope for the cause if the coming generation is to be brought up with suffrage thrust at it from infancy.”

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

Governor Lynn Frazier had called a special session in late November 1919 that addressed, among other issues, the proposed 19th Amendment to the US Constitution to grant women the right to vote. The House and Senate both voted in favor by December 1st, and it was signed by both branches on December 4th.

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

The right for women to vote was disputed for decades. Women and men alike populated both sides of the debate. Proponents united in rallying behind the push for change, which eventually resulted in the passage of the 19th Amendment.