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Today Is Women’s Equality Day

President Obama at the Womens Rights National Historical Park Visitors Center in Seneca Falls, NY (Getty Images)

We tell you about a lot of goofy holidays and observances throughout the year, but this one is real, and it’s an important one.

Today is Women’s Equality Day, recognizing the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on this date in 1920. Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York City sponsored a bill in 1971 that designates each August 26 as a national day of recognition for the date in history when women across the country were given the right to vote.

Women’s Equality Day has a local connection because the women’s suffrage movement began just down the Thruway in Seneca Falls, N.Y. at the first women’s rights convention in 1848. That was back in a time when women were often not even allowed to speak in public. It’s what got the ball rolling on the battle for women’s right to vote, but it took decades to get there.

It all started in Seneca Falls, and it was one of the stops President Obama made last week during his bus tour that brought him to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. Obama paid a visit to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park Visitors Center where he also donated a copy of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the first legislation he signed as president. It recognizes a woman’s right to the same pay as a man in the workplace.

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