League of Women Voters celebrating 100th anniversary


In 1919, the U.S. Senate passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote. (The amendment was originally introduced in Congress in 1878, but was finally adopted 41 years later).

The next year, 1920, the League of Women Voters was established in Washington, D.C., and as is often said, “the rest is history.”

The official date of the league’s 100th anniversary was Feb. 14, 2020. To celebrate both the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passage and the organization’s anniversary, the Pine Belt chapter of the league will host a celebration on Saturday, Feb. 29, with co-sponsor, the Historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and, beginning at 7 p.m., there will be a special screening of the women’s suffrage movie Iron-Jawed Angels starring Hilary Swank and Angelica Houston.

A champagne and cupcake reception will follow the movie, and the event is free and open to the public.

“This is an exciting time for the League of Women Voters nationwide,” said Peg Ciraldo, president of the local chapter. “In the past 100 years, much has been accomplished, but our job is not yet finished.

“We owe a debt of gratitude and thanks to all the women and men who came before us, for their voices, the work they did and their many accomplishments.”

The league is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Membership in the league is open to women and men.