Every week, Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history. All photos are courtesy of The Oregon Historical Society.
Oregon lagged behind Idaho, Washington and California in extending voting rights to women. But after the turn of the 20th century, women from different backgrounds and with different agendas joined forces, employing modern campaign tactics to press for enfranchisement.
Women across the state struggled for 42 years and overcame five ballot-box losses before convincing the all-male electorate to pass a suffrage law in 1912, eight years before most women in the country won the right to vote. These approximately 168,000 new Oregon constituents used their hard-won power to promote social reform and influence public spending.
To learn more about how women’s mobilization changed the state and eventually the nation, watch the Oregon Experience documentary “The Suffragists.”