California Suffrage Centennial

Resources on this page are also available at LiveBinders.

October 10, 2011 was the 100th anniversary of the election in which California women won the right to vote. Resources with which teachers and students can explore the history and meaning of this momentous event are available via the links below.

In 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friends organized a woman’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a married woman could not own property. She could not sue or be sued, make a contract or a will, or operate a business in her own name. If she worked, her wages belonged to her husband. In the event of a divorce, the father had custody of their children. Without the money to pay for a private education, a woman who aspired to college was largely out of luck, since the doors of most public universities were closed to her. In no state could she vote, except as a school board member here, a municipal officer there. In the words of the convention’s “Declaration of Sentiments,” she was “civilly dead.”

– From the Prologue to “A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot”
by Mary Walton (2010)

Exhibits and Histories

The University of California Bancroft Library’s Suffrage Centennial Exhibit,
A Centennial Celebration, California Women and the Vote.

An exhibit from the International Museum of Women.

The Trial of Susan B. Anthony for voting in the 1872 Presidential Election.

The CA Secretary of State’s California Woman Suffrage Centennial page.

The National Woman’s Party Suffrage Campaign Exhibit page.

MS Magazine, A Suffrage Cliffhanger in California.

From the Women of the West Museum.

Newspaper and Magazine Articles, and Book Excerpts

The Berkeley Suffrage Campaign of 1911.

The San Diego Suffrage Campaign of 1911.

Women Claim the Vote in California, from an historical essay by Mae Silver 1995.

From the New York Times, December 2, 1911.

From the New York Times, May 17, 1912


The National Archives, Teaching With Documents: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment.

Suffragists Oral History Project, UC Berkeley Bancroft Library.

5 Reasons Men Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Vote.


Lesson Plans and Teaching Ideas Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment.

The Woodrow Wilson Library.

EDSITEment: Voting Rights for Women, Pro and Con.

EDSITEment: Why the West First?.

The Library of Congress: Their Rights and Nothing Less.

PBS: Not for Ourselves Alone.

Woman Suffrage and the Media.

From the Sewall-Belmont House.