League of Women Voters of Nebraska
The League of Women Voters of Nebraska was founded on June 15, 1920, at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha. In 2020, the LWVNE is observed the centennial of its founding and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. The League is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion as we continue our commitment to empowering voters and defending democracy in our next 100 years.
Volunteerism is the foundation of the League of Women Voters, especially at the state and local levels. Our volunteers work year-round to register new voters, host candidate and educational forums, and provide voters with election information. This report summarizes our work in the 2020 election year.
As part of its centennial celebration, the LWVNE created panels/posters that tell the story of the long road to the 19th Amendment in Nebraska.
Humanities Nebraska ended 2020 with a four-part series on Valuing the Vote. The series featured an overview of the women’s suffrage movement in Nebraska and the United States, two programs on notable Nebraska women’s suffrage leaders, and a panel presentation on “Women in Politics Today.” The Valuing the Vote series will continue in spring 2021, with programs focusing on the civil rights movement.
2019-2021 LWVNE co-president Dianne Bystrom presents: “A Century of Women’s Suffrage: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment”
Dianne Bystrom hosts Laureen Riedesel presenting on “Clues to Clara Bewick Colby: The Rediscovery of Local Womens History”
Dianne Bystrom hosts Sally Bisson-Best presenting on “Nebraska’s Forgotten Suffrage Leader Doris Stevens”
Dianne Bystrom hosts a panel discussion on “Women in Politics Today” featuring State Senator Anna Wishart, Sarpy County Election Commissioner Michelle Andahl and LWVNE Voters’ Services Director Toni Monette.
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote was ratified 100 years ago. The musical “Perfect 36” brings this story to life with 40 actors, singers and musicians. Although current circumstances prevent the full-scale production of the musical, you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment by listening to the concert version from the link below.
The state of Nebraska became the 14th of the needed 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment on August 2, 1919. The Nebraska Legislature commemorated the 100th anniversary of the state’s ratification with a proclamation declaring August 2019 as Nebraska Woman’s Suffrage Month.
Events celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment took place throughout the year in 2020. Centennial celebrations are being extended into 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus on events planned for 2020.
We will continue to add new events for 2021 here.
October 12, 2021 – LWVNE will be participating in a commemoration of the 19th Amendment at the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Bar Association at the LaVista Embassy Suites. The commemoration will include a display of the League’s suffrage banners.
The road to the 19th Amendment was a long one – stretching from 1848 to 1920. Most of the suffragists who began the march toward women’s enfranchisement did not live to see its passage. The ratification of the 19th Amendment was not the end of the movement toward universal suffrage. Chinese Americans, Asian Americans, Japanese Americans and Native Americans were not considered citizens until years after the 15th and 19th Amendments – which state that the rights of citizens to vote cannot be denied on the account of race or sex – were ratified. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting barriers adopted in many Southern states, primarily to prevent African Americans from voting. However, in 2013, key provisions of the Voting Rights Act were struck down in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Shelby County vs. Holder. Today we still struggle to make sure that all U.S. citizens have the right to cast their ballots.
Read an article about the 19th Amendment co-authored by Dianne Bystrom, co-president of the LWVNE and director emerita of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University in The Conversation.
MILESTONES OF THE WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES & NEBRASKA
Prepared by Dianne Bystrom, Ph.D.
Co-president, League of Women Voters of Nebraska
July 8, 2020
Interested in Supporting our Cause?