Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse to be Illuminated Purple and Gold in Honor of 19th Amendment Centennial on Wednesday, August 26
ST. LOUIS—To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote, Gateway Arch National Park will illuminate the Arch and Old Courthouse purple and gold at night on Wednesday, August 26. The park joins fellow National Park Service sites and other landmarks across the country in participating in “Forward Into Light,” which is led by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. “Forward Into Light” is a phrase most famously associated with the banner carried by suffragist Inez Milholland in the May 4, 1911, New York City suffrage parade. It became a popular rallying cry for women suffragists.
Gateway Arch National Park has strong ties to the women’s suffrage movement, as the Old Courthouse was the site of Virginia Minor’s courageous fight for the right to vote in the late 1800s. Her case was eventually heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Although she ultimately lost her case at the Supreme Court, Virginia Minor had a lasting impact on women’s suffrage and inspired more women to fight for their right to vote” said Pam Sanfilippo, Chief of Museum Services and Interpretation at Gateway Arch National Park. “We are honored to join this celebration of women’s rights and mark this important milestone in American history.”
More information about Virginia Minor’s fight for voting rights is available at nps.gov/jeff.
“Forward Into Light” at Gateway Arch National Park has been made possible through a donation by the Gateway Foundation, which also funds the maintenance and operation of the Gateway Arch lighting system.
Why Purple and Gold?
In 1867, suffragists in Kansas adopted the sunflower, the state flower, as a symbol of their campaign. From then on, yellow (gold) became associated with the national women’s suffrage movement. It was described by members of the National Woman’s Party as “the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”
Purple came to America as a suffrage color via England, where it represented “the instinct of freedom and dignity.” The National Woman’s Party described the meaning of purple in their purple, white, and gold flag as symbolizing “the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause.”
About Forward Into Light
Forward Into Light is a culmination of a year-and-a-half-long commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s passage and ratification, beginning in May and June 2019 on the anniversaries of the 19th Amendment passing through the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, before going to the states for ratification. Learn more about Forward Into Light and sign up to participate at womensvote100.org/forwardintolight. On August 26, 2020, share photos of your illuminated buildings on social media platforms using the hashtag #ForwardIntoLight, and submit photos to be included in the WSCC’s official Forward Into Light online album.
Gateway Arch National Park Visitor Reminders
The Arch Visitor Center, Museum at the Gateway Arch, Arch Store and Arch Café are currently open for visitors. To enter the Arch, free timed tickets are required by going online to gatewayarch.com or by calling 877-982-1410. The Tram Ride to the Top and the Old Courthouse remain closed at this time due to the global pandemic.