The American Bar Association’s Law Day is held annually on May 1 to celebrate and recognize the role of law in society. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, this year’s theme is “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.”
Granting and protecting women’s right to vote, the passage of 19th Amendment was a hard-fought achievement that marked a milestone in American democracy. Beginning with the first women’s rights convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, suffragists fought tirelessly for 72 years to guarantee women the right to vote. Washington, DC was home to the first suffragist parade in 1913, which was strategically held just one day before the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson to capture the attention of visiting spectators. Not all the attention was welcome; marchers were taunted and physically accosted, and over 100 women were hospitalized with injuries. Despite the threat of harm, the suffragists finished the parade. Stories of their perseverance became the topic of the news, and the parade was later credited with reinvigorating the women’s rights movement.
Though Washington, DC played a critical role in the women’s rights movement as the home of the 1913 parade, as a federal district and not a state, DC could not participate in the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Even after the 19th Amendment was ratified, DC residents—men and women alike—could still not vote in the presidential election. It was not until the 23rd Amendment was passed in 1961 that DC residents were granted the right to vote.
Located in the heart of Washington, DC, Regan Zambri Long PLLC is a proud supporter of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA-DC), and is a sponsor of its Annual Dinner. Attorneys Jacqueline Colclough, Amy Griggs, and Emily Lagan are all members of WBA-DC, and Emily is currently serving as a co-chair of the group’s Young Lawyers Committee.
If you are interested in learning more about Law Day, visit the American Bar Association’s website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/law-day/. To view online exhibits celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, visit the Alice Paul Institute’s online gallery: https://www.alicepaul.org/2020-exhibition/.