City of Evanston Proclamation – 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

Text of the Proclamation – The 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment

Whereas, Evanston had long been at the forefront of the movement to secure women the right to vote and many Evanston women leaders played a critical role in the woman’s suffrage movement, including Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Frances E. Willard, and Catharine Waugh McCulloch;

Whereas, in Evanston there were many women’s organizations that worked for suffrage – beginning with the Pro and Con Club; the local chapters of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union; the Julia Gaston Club and the Colored Women’s Republican Club; and the Evanston Political Equality League, founded in 1904;

Whereas, in 1891, Illinois enacted a law allowing women the right to vote for elective school offices; in Evanston, the first woman, Louise Brockaway Stanwood, elected to public office was elected to the School Board in 1892;

Whereas, in 1913 Illinois enacted the Presidential Suffrage Bill which gave Illinois women the right to vote in federal and municipal elections; Evanston women were critical in the 1913 fight for partial suffrage;

Whereas, on June 4, 1919, the proposed 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed by the United States Congress and sent to the States for ratification;

Whereas, Illinois became the first State to ratify the 19th Amendment; Evanston women were actively involved in Illinois being the first state to ratify; 

Whereas, Illinois led the way for the necessary three-fourths of the States to ratify the 19th Amendment, which became part of the Constitution on August 26, 1920;

Whereas, Evanston women were active following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, to ensure that voting rights were secure for all American citizens, in organizations like the Evanston League of Women Voters and many others;

Now Therefore I, Mayor Stephen H. Hagerty, declare August 26, 2020, a day to celebrate women’s right to vote and the important role Evanston played in achieving that right in the United States.