My grandmother must have been thrilled ninety-two years ago today. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified. My father’s mother, Anna Ayer Williams (for whom I was named), was a young woman living in Niagara Falls, New York, when she was a suffragette.
By 1920 women had worked 72 years, since 1848, for this right. Widowed in 1915 when my father was six, my grandmother supported herself and my father by teaching in one room schools in small Iowa towns, living with families in those towns. I am honored to be her namesake.