'Rightfully Hers' image from the City of Evanston
'Rightfully Hers' image from the City of Evanston

The City of Evanston has launched a year of hosting a new popup exhibition from the National Archives, "Rightfully Hers," commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. “Rightfully Hers” contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women’s voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today. 

Despite decades of marches, petitions, and public debate to enshrine a woman’s right to vote in the constitution, the 19th Amendment – while an enormous milestone – did not grant voting rights for all. The challenges of its passage reverberate to the ongoing fight for gender equity today.

“Rightfully Hers” co-curator Jennifer N. Johnson ssays, “The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate, and although it enshrined in the U.S. Constitution fuller citizenship for women many remained unable to vote.”

“Rightfully Hers” opened in the second floor gallery of the Lorraine Morton Civic Center, 2100  Ridge Ave., and will remain there through January. The February location will be the Evanston Public Library in the Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St. In March it will travel to the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St. The April location is yet to be determined. The Main Branch of the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., will host the exhibit in May, and the Frances Willard House, 1730 Chicago Ave., will display it in May.

The exhibit’s visit to Evanston is sponsored by Women’sVote100Evanston - a group of partners who are planning for Evanston’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. This group is led by the Evanston Women’s History Project at the Evanston History Center and includes the City of Evanston; Downtown Evanston; the Evanston Community Foundation; Evanston Made; the Evanston Public Library; the Frances Willard House Museum; the League of Women Voters of Evanston; North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau; Northwestern University; Shorefront Legacy Center; the Woman’s Club of Evanston; the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. More information about further plans for the anniversary can be found at www.evanstonwomen.org.

“Rightfully Hers” is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives has launched a nationwide initiative and major exhibition that explores the generations-long fight for universal woman suffrage. The exhibition 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.