Time Era

Historic time period: 1890–1930

Winning the Vote for Women

Did you know that women in America have not always been allowed to vote? How do women today use their right to vote?

Mama Went to Jail for the Vote tells the story of the woman suffrage movement from the perspective of a young girl named Susan Elizabeth. Explore the story by reading together and then try some of these fun activities to learn more about the people who earned the right to vote for women all over America.

The National Museum of American History has a rich collection of objects from the women's suffrage movement, including three Jailed for Freedom pins, banners from protest parades, buttons, publications, and more.

Read This Book

You can learn more about the woman suffrage movement by reading these books. Click on the book titles below for more information, or visit our complete bibliography.

More Recommended Books

Mama Went to Jail for the Vote book cover

Featured Book

Mama Went to Jail for the Vote

by Kathleen Karr

Mama Went to Jail for the Vote by Kathleen Karr. Illustrated by Malene Laugesen. Used by permission of Hyperion Books for Children.


  • Role Model Medal

    Role Model Medal

    Play and Create

    Create a pin to honor a female role model in your life, just like the Jailed for Freedom pin given to suffragettes.

    Download the PDF »
  • Call and Answer

    Objection and Answer

    Learn from Objects

    Take a look at pairs of banners with arguments for and against woman suffrage. Guess what might have been the match for a banner that is missing its pair.

    Download the PDF »
  • meeting room with someone speaking

    Meet Your Local League

    Take a Trip

    Meet with a member or attend part of a meeting of the League of Women Voters in your community.

    Download the PDF »
  • Who Represents You?

    Who Represents You?

    Use Technology

    Take off on a tour of the web to find out about the people who represent you in Congress, and how they compare to the state they serve.

    Download the PDF »

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Smithsonian's History Explorer