LWVOC HERstory Timeline

80th Anniversary 1939-2019 and Beyond

Spanning early to current Florida Suffrage movement to founding of the League of Women Voters Orange County and its continued modern successes.

1917-01-01 00:00:00

From Many Voices, Carrie Chapman Catt is Heard

“Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed, has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in government." - Carrie Chapman Catt (1917)

1917-06-19 13:11:04

Remembering Truth

A former slave, Sojourner Truth became an outspoken advocate for abolition, temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the nineteenth century. Her Civil War work earned her an invitation to meet President Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

1917-09-01 16:49:34

Leading a March

Carrie Chapman Catt, center in white, leads a group of suffragists in a New York City parade staged in the fall of 1917 to gain support for women suffrage

1919-05-26 00:00:00

Orlando Women Vote

May 26, 1919 -- VOTER RIGHTS. As the nation debated whether to grant women the right to vote, women in Orlando voted for the first time – well before women nationwide won the vote with the 19th Amendment. In January of 1919, in response to petitions by the Rev. Mary Safford and other local activists, Orlando’s mayor convinced the Legislature to allow a limited city charter amendment that would let women vote in municipal elections. The women’s first vote was on a city road-paving bond issue. Winter Park soon followed and allowed women to vote in July on city issues.

1920-02-14 00:00:00

LWV Begins

The National League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt during the convention of the National American Suffrage Association. The convention was held just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle that included jail time for some. The League began as a “mighty political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to help shape public policy.

1920-08-18 00:00:00


Women nationwide won the right to vote after the 36th state, Tennessee, ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Their suffrage fight had extended over decades. On August 26, the amendment to the U.S. Constitution was formally adopted by federal proclamation. It extended voting to women nationwide, even in the ten states – including Florida – that refused to ratify. (In a ceremonial gesture, Florida eventually ratified the amendment – in 1969.) Supporters of the new women voters worked to “instruct women in the manner of voting.” It was not an easy road. Women seeking to vote often faced opposition from men and women alike, and registration was often slow. It was “just like women not to care about it now they had it,” wrote the Winter Park Post, which published the specific names of women who registered to vote. The Post predicted that, “after weathering a visit to the booth,… all will breathe again and return to baking the pies that mother used to make.” Winter Park Post, “Where are those suffrage boosters?” 7-3-1919

1921-01-01 00:00:00

False Start

1921 – LWV ORGANIZATION. A Florida League of Women Voters organized and attempted to coordinate lobbying efforts, but after financial troubles and a stormy history, it was disaffiliated by the national League in 1937. “Recollections,” pp 1-2.

1923-06-01 20:21:36

Indian Citizenship Act 1924

Zitkála-Šá led the first national all-Indian organization that advocated for Indian rights, The Society of American Indians, and founded the National Council of American Indians. She fought for citizenship rights and was compared to Joan of Arc. Even after Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924, thanks in part to Zitkála-Šá’s work, Native Americans in many states still were not allowed to vote.

1924-01-01 01:35:07

Eleanor Roosevelt:League Leader

In the 1920s, Eleanor Roosevelt served as vice president for legislative affairs at the League, monitoring federal legislation and hearings in Congress. Watch this short video about how Eleanor's membership changed the League -- and how the League changed her.

1925-07-01 22:57:19

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune-Pioneer

A force for Central Floridians, Dr. Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian and civil rights activist best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida. She attracted donations of time and money, and developed the academic school as a college.

LWVOC HERstory Timeline

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