Four moments from the history of women in politics

Image: Suffragettes outside the White House in 1917. Source: Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

We didn’t elect a female president last night, but we did have another win: the number of women of color in the Senate quadrupled. They are part of a legacy of fighting for justice and equality. Today, we want to celebrate that legacy by remembering a few moments from the long journey of women in politics.

 Suffrage Victory—Virginia Maynard and Charles Levy (Pacifica Radio Archives)

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote in 1920—after a decades-long fight started in 1848 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. During that time, suffragists had to work tirelessly to overcome the objections and prejudices of those who worried that giving women voting rights threatened the morality of the nation.

This is what the suffragists who won women the right to vote were up against. share on Twitter

Hillary Clinton as a young woman
Image: Hillary Clinton as a young woman. Source: Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 Wellesley, 1969—With her

Today, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate for the highest office in our country. But in 1969, she was Hillary Rodham, a college senior who had been voted by her classmates to give the commencement address at Wellesley College. This original recording of that speech reminds us of the ideals, perspective, and background that made the candidate who she is.

Hear Hillary Rodham Clinton like you never have before (as a 21-year-old). share on Twitter

Image: Shirley Chisholm announcing her candidacy. Source: Wikimedia

 Shirley Chisholm: campaign and interview—produced by Miriam Rosen (Pacifica Radio Archives)

Shirley Chisholm is a giant in U.S. politics. Born in in 1924, she went on to become the first black congresswoman in 1968. After serving for seven terms, she ran for the 1972 Democratic nomination for president as the first major-party African-American candidate. Ms. Chisholm, for whom social justice and representing the underserved and unacknowledged was a driving cause, died in 2005.

Shirley Chisholm: “I’m a shaker-upper of the system.” share on Twitter

Image: Dolores Huerta at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Source: Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 Dolores Huerta: Vice President of the United Farm Workers—interviewed by Maria Huffman (Pacifica Radio Archives)

Dolores Huerta launched the National Farmworkers Association with César E. Chávez in 1962 to improve the working condition for farm workers, and directed the first National Boycott of California Table Grapes. In 2012, Ms. Huerta was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama for her contributions as an organizer and advocate.

“The farmworker is subjected to a brutalization… that is absolutely inhuman.”  share on Twitter


Here’s to the end of election season.
The Pop Up Archive team