National League History

Sometimes referred to as ‘Herstory’!


League of Women Voters

Carrie Chapman Catt (in the photo, front row, right) founded the League of Women Voters on February 14, 1920, during the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s convention in Chicago, IL, just six months before ratification of the 19th Amendment. From the beginning, the League was an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders encouraged women to educate themselves and use their new power – the right to vote – to shape public policy. The League is proudly nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates for public office, but always working on critical issues.

The League’s founders believed that nonpartisanship would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in party politics. “Naturally, this course has failed to please extremists of either brand,” noted the League’s first president, Maud Wood Park. This holds true even today. Today’s League – operating in all states – includes both men and women as members and continues this rich heritage of making our democracy work through education and advocacy.

A brief history of the LWV Umpqua is on our About Us page.

A fascinating history on the LWV United States (LWV) website

Did you know that Oregon’s birthday, Feb. 14, 1859, is the same day a few years before the national League’s birthdate, Feb. 14, 1920?

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