Centennial Toolkit

Here are some great resources and ideas to help you in planning your community celebrations around the Centennial of the 19th Amendment. Keep an eye on this page, as it will continue to evolve. Do you have a resource you think other Leagues could benefit from? Let us know about it!



Stuhler, Barbara. “Organizing for the Vote: Leaders of Minnesota’s Woman Suffrage Movement.” Minnesota History 54, no. 7 (Fall 1995): 290-303.

Weber, Eric W. “Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association.” MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society.

Gilman, Rhoda. "Women in Minnesota: Weaving the Web of Society in the North Star State." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society.

Peterson, Anna Marie. “Adding ‘A Little Suffrage Spice to the Melting Pot’: Minnesota’s Scandinavian Woman Suffrage Association,” Minnesota History 62, no. 8 (Winter 2011-12): 288–297.


Bauer, Heidi, ed.  The Privilege for Which We Struggled: Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in Minnesota. With an Introduction by Barbara Stuhler.  St. Paul: Upper Midwest Women's History Center, 1999.

Egge, Sara. Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest, 1870-1920. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2018.

Stuhler, Barbara. Gentle Warriors: Clara Ueland and the Minnesota Struggle for Woman Suffrage.  St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1995.

Stuhler, Barbara.  For the Public Record: A Documentary History of the League of Women Voters.  Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Stuhler, Barbara, and Gretchen Kreuter, eds. Women of Minnesota: Selected Biographical Essays. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1977.

Young, Billie, and Nancy Ankenny. Minnesota Women in Politics: Stories of the Journey. St. Cloud: North Star Press, 2000.

Weiss, Elaine.  The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote. New York: Penguin Books, 2019.

Zahniser, J.D. Alice Paul: Claiming Power. Oxford University Press, 2014/2019.


Test Your Suffrage Knowledge! - Adults (2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative)

Test Your Suffrage Knowledge! - Kids (2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative)

Votes For Women: A Century of Suffrage (The Atlantic)

19th Amendment at 100: Sharing the Story (Smithsonian)


Jeannette Rankin: Champion of Persistence

Jeannette Rankin, anti-World War I & II activist, tireless women’s suffrage activist, Republican, twice elected to US House of Representatives (1917-18; 1940).  She worked for National Consumer’s League (pure food and drug) and early advocate of ranked-choice voting and similar ideas. Written and performed by J. Emily Peabody.

Contact: J. Emily Peabody at 651-373-2527 (call or text) or jemilypeabody@yahoo.com

Jane Skinner Peck: Votes for Women, Ja!

Votes for Women, Ja! is a one-woman theatrical presentation and lecture tracing the pivotal contributions of Nordic immigrant suffragists to voting rights in Minnesota. Presenter Jane Peck is a choreographer, historian, writer, and professor. Her own female Norwegian ancestors were involved in the struggle. Through ragtime dance, acting, slides, and story, audiences are introduced to the development of feminine power and organizational skills in our Nordic grandmothers as they fought for Minnesota women’s suffrage and other social needs. These stories from a unique chapter of Minnesota history and lift the lid off the quiet Nordic grandma image! This is a solo show best done indoors. $200-$600 (depending on distance), open to negotiation. Roughly 30 minutes and discussion time extra.

Contact: Jane Peck at revels@janepeck.com

History Alive! Lanesboro: MN Suffragists Rally

Great for students or festivals! In advance of the show, our four MN suffragists, and director and playwright Jane Peck, train local students or attendees to participate in a recreated suffrage rally with placards and the most commonly used song. The show begins with the rally group marching through the crowd to the performance area where the four Minnesota suffragists are, then give speeches specific to their characters to rally and inform the audience to support suffrage. Includes four performers representing key women in Minnesota suffrage history: Nellie Griswold Francis (African-American), Clara Ueland (Norwegian-American and head of the movements), Berthe Moller (Swedish-American and one of the hunger strikers), Emily Bright (Yankee roots and involved in the more radical NWP). This group show is great as an outdoor event but it can be done in an auditorium or gym. Audience involvement. $500-$1,000 (depending on distance), open to negotiation. Roughly 30 minutes.

Contact: Jane Peck at revels@janepeck.com

Samantha 'Rastles' the Woman Question

This one-woman show is based on the humorous writings of 19th-century author, Marietta Holley, whose character Samantha appeared in over twenty books between 1874-1914. A farm wife, rustic philosopher, Samantha uses horse sense humor to tackle issues of suffrage, rights denied by the church, differential intelligence, affiliative status, gender assumptions of the culture, and much more.

Email: JCurry@USFamily.net; Call: 612-729-6457; Write: Jane Curry, 5048 37th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55417; Website: http://www.mnartists.org/artwork/samantha-rastles-woman-question

Nashville Ballet – “72 Steps”

Watch Video

A spoonful of sugar helps the history go down

This play is an hour long and includes most of the high points of the struggle for woman’s suffrage. Honor is given to the part England’s women played in this struggle. There are 15 roles. Each actor holds an easily readable sign to identify role. The only actor who does not hold a name sign is Alice Paul.

The story tells of a 21-year-old girl who is too lazy to get up and go vote. Alice Paul comes in a dream to wake her up, along with a Narrator and a Historian, who give her the story of why she should be grateful she can vote, concluding with the piece de resistance: Humphrey Bogart’s mother had a part in it!

Lines can be read or memorized. Costumes consist of long skirts, blouses or jackets, and modish hats. The only props needed are a bed with a blanket (and the bed can be three chairs) and name signs. Feel free to make this suit your community.

Contact: Marla Kennedy at kenne402@umn.edu or 651-645-3303 for more information.


April Bennett

Motivational speaker, feminist activist and author of the book, Ask a Suffragist: Stories and Wisdom from America's First Feminists.

Contact: april@aprilyoungb.com, (801) 253-2895

Kristin Mapel Bloomberg

Current position: Professor of Women's Studies and Hamline University Endowed Chair in the Humanities. Guest editor, suffrage anniversary issue of Minnesota History for fall 2020.

Selected Publications: “Cora E. Smith Eaton and North Dakota Woman Suffrage 1888-1897,” in Lori Ann Lahlum and Molly Rozum, eds., Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains, (South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2019); “Striving for Equal Rights For All,” in David L. Bristow, ed., Votes for Women: The 19th Amendment in Nebraska, (Nebraska Historical Society, 2019); “Women and Rural Social Reform in the 1870s and 1880s: Clara Bewick Colby’s ‘Farmers’ Wives,’” Agricultural History, 89.3 (2015): 402-425; “The Violet Study Club of Minneapolis,” Kristin Mapel Bloomberg and Johnanna Ganz. Hennepin History 70.1 (Winter 2011): 4-17; “Woman Suffrage in Nebraska 1855-1882,” Nebraska History Quarterly 90.2 (Summer 2009): 84-103; “Nineteenth Century Methodists and Coeducation: The Case of Hamline University,” Methodist History 47.1 (Oct. 2008): 48-62; “She will marvel that it should have been possible: The Political Equality Club of Minneapolis,” Kristin Mapel Bloomberg and Erin Parrish. Minnesota History 60.3 (Fall 2006): 113-122.

Email: kbloomberg@hamline.edu

Phone: 651-523-2091

Sara Egge

Assistant Professor of History, Centre College (Iowa)

Email: sara.egge@centre.edu

Phone: 859-238-5732

Research: gender, ethnicity, and rurality in the American Midwest  

Publications: Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest, 1870-1920 (University of Iowa Press, 2018); Woman Suffrage is a Midwestern Story: Gender, Region, and Nativism, 1880-1920 (Middle West Review, 4, no. 2, Spring 2018); Putting the Farm First: Feminism and Rural American Women’s Activism in the Twentieth Century (New York: Lexington Books, 2015); Strewn Knee Deep in Literature: The Material Analysis of Print Literature and Woman Suffrage (Agricultural History 88.3, Fall 2014). 

Sara Evans

Professor Emerita of History, University of Minnesota

Email: s-evan@umn.edu

Research: American women’s history

Publications: Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America at Century's End (The Free Press, 2003); Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (Vintage Paperback, 1980); Born for Liberty: A History of American Women (Free Press, 1989); Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975 (Rutgers University Press, 2003).

Elaine Tyler May

Professor of History and American Studies, University of Minnesota

Email: mayxx002@umn.edu

Phone: 612-626-7847

Research: gender and politics in 20th century US history

Publications: America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril and Liberation (Basic Books, 2010); Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (Basic Books, 2008); Tell Me True: Memoir, History, and Writing a Life (co-editor with Patricia Hampl; Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2008); Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States (co-Author with Jacqueline Jones, Peter Wood, Thomas Borstelmann, Vicki Ruiz; Longman Publishers, 2002); Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness (Harvard University Press, 1996); Pushing the Limits: American Women 1940-1961 (1994); Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian America (University of Chicago Press, Author, 1980).

Serena Zabin

Professor of History and Director of American Studies

Email: szabin@carleton.edu

Research: http://blogs.carleton.edu/lwv-ncf/

J.D. Zahniser

Independent Scholar, Ph.D. in American/Women's Studies from University of Iowa

Email: jdzahniser@gmail.com

Publications: Alice Paul: Claiming Power. Oxford University Press, 2014/2019. " 'How Long Must We Wait?' " [on 1917 suffrage pickets] American History December 2015. "Secular Saint Scorned," American History June 2018. "Making a Case" [trial of Susan B. Anthony], American History forthcoming.

From Other Organizations

Women’s Suffrage Centennial Resource Toolkit
Practical ways to celebrate the suffrage movement
Organization: National Association of Commissions for Women