Although Florida did not officially ratify the amendment until May 1969, nearly 49 years later, next year marks the 100th anniversary of the formal ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Historic City News research shows that many Southern states did not support the suffrage movement.
Among last week’s highlights, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill (SB 1306) creating a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee. State Senator Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat and the bill sponsor, said the group will ensure a suitable statewide observance.
“This bill is so important, especially for the young women of today, to know and appreciate the great strides and opportunities provided by the dedication of earlier generations,” said State Representative Amber Mariano, a Hudson Republican and the youngest state representative ever elected in Florida. Mariano sponsored the companion legislation in the House. “I am so proud to be a part of this celebration of such a monumental moment in our nation’s history,” she said.
The committee will include the Secretary of State and director the Division of Historical Resources. Two Senators picked by the Senate President and two Representatives selected by the House Speaker will be appointed.
DeSantis will also appoint a member of the Historical Commission, four members of the Commission on the Status of Women and one member of the state Women’s Hall of Fame.
The Governor will also select an historian, a member of the League of Women Voters and a representative of the National Council of Negro Women.
“The essential right to vote gives Americans a voice and a choice in the way our government is run and the way we live our lives,” says Senator Book. “I am proud of our Legislature and Governor DeSantis for recognizing this watershed moment in the civil rights movement and the ongoing fight for women’s equality.”
DeSantis will also pick two addition citizens for the Committee. The bill officially goes into effect in July, 2019.