Once Upon a Nation

Proclaiming Liberty and Justice: Celebrating Women and the Right to Vote

In 2020, Philadelphia and the nation will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Historic Philadelphia, Inc., in partnership with Independence National Historical Park, has created a series of opportunities to celebrate this momentous occasion and engage visitors to Philadelphia's Historic District.

The Declaration of Sentiments

  • Wednesdays through Sundays, June 17 - September 27: Noon, 1 p.m. & 2 p.m.
  • Independence Square, behind Independence hall at the Commodore Barry statue
  • Hear Lucretia Mott, Frances Watkins Harper, Alice Paul, and a Once Upon A Nation Storyteller perform an interpretation of the Declaration of Sentiments and share the history of the suffrage movement and the ongoing work that must be done to fully achieve equity for ALL people. Written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the First Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, the Declaration of Sentiments alters key phrases in the Declaration of Independence to reflect the emerging demands of the women’s suffrage movement. Among those alterations is the essential declaration that all men and women are created equal. Free

    History Maker Appearances

  • Wednesdays through Sundays, June 17 - September 27: Noon – 3 p.m.
  • Meet Lucretia Mott, Frances Watkins Harper, and Alice Paul throughout Independence National Historical Park and talk with them about their efforts for the women’s suffrage movement. Free Lucretia Coffin Mott (1793-1880) spent most of her life in Philadelphia where she rose to fame as leader in the abolition, woman’s suffrage, and human rights movements in the mid-1800s. She was a physically tiny committed Quaker, who was fearless in her advocacy of causes which furthered equity among men and women, black and white. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825 – 1911) was a writer, poet, public speaker, and champion of both the abolition and women’s suffrage movements. Born a free woman in Maryland, she lived much of her adult life in Philadelphia where she lent her powerful voice to social justice causes, especially as they pertained to African American women. Alice Paul (1885 – 1977) was a leading suffragist who founded the National Woman’s Party, the group of radical women who paraded, picketed and protested to win the vote for women. After the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment which granted the vote to women, she crafted the Equal Rights Amendment to assure that women would have full equity under the law.

    Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches Women’s History Trail

  • Memorial Day through Labor Day
  • Stories focused on Women’s History will be told at all 13 benches around Historic Philadelphia throughout the 2020 season in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: women’s right to vote. Visit all 13 benches and hear authentic stories, including inspiring tales about Ona Judge, an enslaved woman who escaped from the President’s House in 1796; Harriet Forten and Robert Purvis, the trailblazing African American husband and wife who together helped lead the abolition and women’s suffrage movements; and Harriet Tubman’s freedom journey to Philadelphia.


    National Park Service

    Vision 2020