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New Mexico and The Vote Ep. 1 - The West Leads The Way

Tuesday, 8/4, 8a: The American Southwest played a key role in the woman suffrage battle, as Western states led the charge to ratify the 19th Amendment. New Mexico’s fight to ensure women the right to vote, however, had a much different trajectory. 

Illustration by Hy Mayer shows a torch-bearing female labeled "Votes for Women," symbolizing the awakening of the nation's women to the desire for suffrage, striding across the western states, where women already had the right to vote, toward the east where women are reaching out to her.

After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the United States took over the territory once belonging to Mexico. Unlike other states that would be carved out of these lands, New Mexico had a lot of Spanish-speaking U.S. citizens, a legacy of conquest and colonization starting in the 1500s. That included women who were accustomed to more rights than women held in the United States. Host Megan Kamerick explores New Mexico’s unique history, and the key figures, many of them Hispanic women, who played an essential role in bringing the right to vote to the Land of Enchantment.


Cathleen Cahill, Associate Professor of History, Penn State

Dr. Sylvia Ramos Cruz, retired physician and women’s rights advocate

Robert Martinez, New Mexico State Historian

Virginia Scharff, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico

More Resources:

Articles, Blog Posts & Related ItemsCollapse
Women Arrested for Illegally Voting in 1872 - Related Documents

Women's Rights - Equal Rights Amendment

The Story of U.S. Representative Jeannette Rankin and “Women Run for U.S. Congress, but Cannot Vote”

The Story of the “Isabelle Villiers and the Hello Girls”

Harry T. Burn and his mother Febb E. Burn – The Vote Which Led to the 19th Amendment

Belva Lockwood & The U.S. Supreme Court – “Women First Allowed to Argue Supreme Court Cases”

Woman Suffrage Centennial – “The Senate and Women’s Fight for the Vote”

Online Activity Discovering When Women Voted Around the World

Focus on One Primary Document, a Letter from Susan B. Anthony, with Discussion Questions

Overview of Suffrage from Standpoint of Women in Congress

Women’s Rights: Primary Sources and Teaching Activities

Failure is Impossible Play Script

The historic women’s suffrage march on Washington - Michelle Mehrten

iCivics The 19th Amendment – A Woman’s Right to Vote (documentary)

National Conference of State Legislatures

The Heritage Foundation video on YouTube: The History of Women's Right to Vote

U.S. Department of Arts & Culture: Artistic Response

Events Celebrating 100 Years Of 19th Amendment Ratification

City of Albuquerque

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Celebrating 100 Years of Women Voting on August 22 (Facebook Live Event) – KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change

Megan has been a journalist for 25 years and worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and Albuquerque. She first came to KUNM as a phone volunteer on the pledge drive in 2005. That led to volunteering on Women’s Focus, Weekend Edition and the Global Music Show. She was then hired as Morning Edition host in 2015, then the All Things Considered host in 2018. Megan was hired as News Director in 2021.
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