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Women in Government Documents: 1920-1940

a quick look at resources relating to the history of women in the united states.

Serial Set Subject Terms

  • Working Women(Dates: 1920-1940)
  • Subject: Women AND Citation Text: Politic* (Dates: 1920-1940)
  • Women's rights
  • Women's suffrage
  • Legal status of wome

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson Portrait

Portrait of Marian Anderson by Carl Van Vechten, Jan. 14th, 1940

Starting Points

What was going on?
Women get the Vote
The Great Depression
WWII Begins


The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor is formed to collect information about women in the workforce and safeguard good working conditions for women.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, is signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.


The Equal Rights Amendment, drafted by Alice Paul, is introduced in the United States Congress.
Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party [Library of Congress]
This site offers a number of relevant photographs, including National Woman's Party members standing in front of the Capitol. They are about to ask congressmen from their states to vote for Equal Rights Amendme

1935 The Works Progress Administration funds the Federal Art Project.

Women's WPA projects on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. (1937) Call Number: I 20.22:4/pt.2 Feb.15-Aug.1,1937

1936 Letter, Eleanor Roosevelt to Walter White detailing the First Lady's lobbying efforts for federal action against lynchings, 19 March 1936 [Words and Deeds in American History, Library of Congress]

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hyde Park : personal recollections of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Call Number I 29.2:R 67/2

Jeannette Rankin is against going to war with Japan.
Extract from statement of Jeannette Rankin, representing National Council for Prevention of War
Navy Department appropriation bill 1936 : extract from hearings before subcommittee, 74th Congress, 1st session, on H.R. 7672.
Call Number LinkY 4.AP 6/2:N 22/2/936/EXTRACT

1939 "Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D. C."

Voting in Puerto Rico

Miss Zonia Baber, representative in United States of the women of Porto Rica [Puerto Rico], consulting with Mrs. Burnita Shelton Matthews, Legal Research Secretary of the National Woman's Party, on the drafting of a bill for introduction in Congress extending suffrage to the women of Porto Rica.

Conferring the right to vote upon Porto Rican women. January 17 (calendar day, January 18), 1929

Call Number Y 1.1/2:Serial Set Number 8977