THE PENDERGAST YEARS

Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

19th Amendment Centennial

Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment recognized women's constitutional right to vote. After achieving longtime goals of suffrage and Prohibition, politically active women in Kansas City pivoted to other issues and frequently found themselves in contention with the Pendergast organization. The women's suffrage movement and ensuing reform efforts are explored on the Pendergast Years website and in other resources from the Kansas City Public Library and regional partners.

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News Clip Women Join Protests

Through the Woman’s City Club, Women’s Forward Kansas City Committee, and other civic organizations, women in Kansas City exemplified the principles of benevolence, reform, and equality in their campaign to oppose the Pendergast machine and eventually replace it in a “clean sweep.” Wielding brooms as potent props symbolizing the clean-up of corruption, and with the campaign slogan, "Ballots and Brooms vs. Bosses and Bullets," the women reformers joined the United Campaign Committee in 1939-1940 to champion an amended city charter and a slate of reform-minded candidates for public office.

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.