National Parks Go Fee-Free Tuesday and Celebrate 19th Amendment

National Parks Go Fee-Free Tuesday and Celebrate 19th Amendment

The National Park Service will celebrate its 104th birthday on August 25th by providing free entrance to all fee collecting NPS sites as part of its 2020 Fee-Free Days.

Additionally, the NPS will observe the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment on August 26 with a variety of virtual events related to the suffrage movement.

“As we commemorate these two significant milestones, we reflect on and renew our commitment to the country’s conservation and civil rights legacies,” said Margaret Everson, acting National Park Serivice Director. We encourage everyone to visit a park in person or virtually to discover more about the National Park System, the suffrage movement and the advancement of civil rights for all Americans.” 

On August 25, all fee collecting sites will offer free admittance, and visitors are encouraged to check NPS.gov for the most up-to-date COVID-19 guidelines designed to help you ##RecreateResponsibly.

To celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 26th 1920, the NPS and numerous partners, including the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, have developed special events, activities, and lesson plans to observe the 100th anniversary of this addition to the U.S. Constitution. The 19th Amendment declared that the right to vote could no longer be legally denied based on gender, a watershed moment in the ongoing fight for equality, however, it would take many more years before all women—and men—in the U.S. had equal access to the ballot.

Woman suffrage headquarters, Upper Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, 1912. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

To help commemorate this anniversary the NPS has put together the following virtual events (from the NPS press release):

Forward Into Light! Buildings and landmarks across the country, including the Department of the Interior Building, the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston National Historical Park, the White House in President’s Park, and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in Cabrillo National Monument, will be illuminated in purple and gold (the colors of the suffrage movement) on August 26. If you aren’t able to shed light on your house, you can post purple and gold-filtered images on social media and use #ForwardIntoLight, which was a popular rallying cry for the suffrage movement.

Download and decorate your own PURR-fect Suffrage Cat! In 1916, two suffragists on a long road trip to advocate for women’s rights adopted a kitten found along the way that became the unofficial mascot for the movement.

Hear the story of Grandmom’s magic sash! Two podcast series transport you back in time and recount the fight for women’s suffrage through great storytelling. “The Magic Sash” intended for tweens is hosted by Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and contains bonus lesson plans. For teens and adults there’s “And Nothing Less: The Story of Women’s Fight for the Vote” hosted by actresses Rosario Dawson and Retta.

Pictured: Elizabeth Caddy Stanton Home. Photo: NPS.

Attend the Equality Weekend in Seneca Falls, New York, without leaving home! On August 22 and 23, Women’s Rights National Historical Park will host an online program featuring remarks by descendants of suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, and Booker T. Washington, and the unveiling of the “19th Amendment: Women Vote” stamp by the U.S. Postal Service. 

Earn a patch! Created in partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, features of the Girl Scout Ranger 19th Amendment Program include a limited-edition commemorative patch, activity guide, activity log, certificate and special awards.

Got a minute? Watch episodes of “Suffrage in Sixty Seconds,” a series of one-minute videos by rangers at Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument that highlight people who made women’s suffrage a reality.


Want to learn more about Elizabeth Caddy Stanton? Check out our “Solitude of Self” episode on the America’s National Parks Podcast. Delivered in 1892, the speech declared that as no other person could face death for another, none could decide for them how to educate themselves. Listen below:

Visit NPS.gov for more information about both anniversaries. Following the August 25th Fee-Free Day, the NPS will host two more free days in 2020. Click here to see the full list.


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