Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Women have been voting for 100 years — as long as it took to win the war for suffrage

After a world war which President Woodrow Wilson had pledged would make the world "safe for democracy," most American women still didn't have democracy in the voting booth. One hundred years ago, the country finally began the last push that gave us the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing that the right to vote could not be denied or abridged on account of sex. Nancy Pelosi, the first woman speaker of the House, mentioned the anniversary when she took the speaker's gavel this month: "I am particularly proud to be the woman speaker of the House of this Congress, which marks the 100th year of women having the right to vote."

That right became official in 1920, but the battle had been a hundred years' war. Ellen Fitzpatrick, a University of New Hampshire history professor, the co-author of the book "A Century of Struggle," about women's suffrage, and the author of "The Highest Glass Ceiling," about women and the presidency, looks back at that long march to suffrage, at California's vital part in it, and the battles that remain unknown.

Q. For 100 years or more, women had been talking about getting the vote but hadn't gotten it until after the First World

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