PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Several local organizations joined together to host a virtual lecture to commemorate the 101 anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment Tuesday.
The lecture was hosted by Elaine Weiss, author of “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote.” During the lecture, Weiss discussed the path women had taken to gain the right to vote.
“It’s hard to imagine how brave a woman had to be to stand out in public proclaim herself an advocate for women’s political equality,” Weiss said. ‘It was not accepted, they had to endure contempt and ridicule in their communities, in their churches, in their clubs, and even in their own families.”
Weiss said Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi River to sign a partial suffrage bill in June of 1913 that let women vote in local and presidential elections. Illinois was also one of the first states to vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in June 1919.
Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali also recorded a speech for the lecture.
“I have the distinct honor of being the first women to be elected as mayor of Peoria, and we also have the first woman serving in the office of the Vice President of the United States, it is both a truly short time and an exceedingly long journey, from 101 years ago when neither of us would even have the opportunity to vote,” Ali said.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria partnered with the Peoria Historical Society, Peoria Public Library, and the Peoria Riverfront Museum for the lecture.
The full lecture will be available on the Peoria Riverfront museums YouTube channel Wednesday. The lecture will be available through July.