Logo of the AAUW La Palma - Cerritos during COVID-19

La Palma and Cerritos celebrate 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women their constitutional right to vote, the Women’s Suffrage Commission of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) asked for cities throughout the nation to light up in purple and gold on August 26, 2020, as part of the AAUW’s “Forward Into Light“ campaign. The campaign was named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward Through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”

The cities of La Palma and Cerritos responded by lighting up portions of their cities in purple and gold on August 26, 2020. The City of La Palma posted information about the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment on the city’s bulletin board in purple and gold at the La Palma Community Center. The City of Cerritos illuminated the Civic Center Plaza and Cerritos Sculpture Garden with purple and gold lights.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Civic Center Plaza and Cerritos Sculpture Garden are being illuminated with purple and gold lights.
AAUW members Mary Ann
Quinn, Edna Ethington, Councilmember Steggell, Joan Flax, and Nancy Kawamura. (Photo by
Joseph Cisneros.)

The City of Cerritos will also publicize the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment on the city’s TV3 station. Both cities prepared proclamations that declared that the month of August as National Women’s Suffrage Month and recognized the American Association of University Women for their commitment to secure equal rights and opportunity for women.

Both cities will be publishing information about the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment on their social media sites and city news publications. In addition, the Cerritos Library presented a special online hour-long lecture on August 27, 2020, on “Suffrage Stories: A Complicated Narrative.” This lecture was prepared with 15 Smithsonian Affiliates in collaboration with scholars from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The Cerritos Library also hosts a digital poster exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution, on “Votes for Women-A Portrait of Persistence.” This exhibit celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the complexity of the women’s suffrage movement, and the relevance of this history to American lives today. For more information about the Cerritos Library exhibit, contact 562-916-1340.

According to the AAUW, although the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, it did not give all women the right to vote in that year. Native Americans did not gain the right to vote until 1924, and Asian and Pacific Islanders did not get the right to vote until 1952. African-American and Latin American women suffered voter suppression, such as literacy tests or residency requirements, in some states until passage of the Voter Rights Act of 1965 and 1975. The 19th Amendment was finally ratified on March 22, 1972, when the South Carolina State House of Representatives voted to ratify the ERA with a vote of 83 to 0.

Remembering all the difficulties women had fighting for the right to vote, and finally realizing the success of the women’s suffrage movement, the AAUW hopes that by commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, all current citizens, and future generations, will be inspired to preserve their right to vote. AAUW asks all citizens to vote on November 3, 2020, and vote at all future opportunities to vote.