San Diego, CA – Starting at sunset each night, Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23, and Wednesday, August 26, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument will be illuminated with purple and gold lights to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The park will be open until 8:30 p.m. each night for visitors to enjoy the lights, learn about women’s history, and take photos.
August 26, 2020 will mark exactly 100 years since the 19th Amendment became law, ensuring that gender could not exclude women from voting. This milestone in our Nation’s history was won through struggle and protest in the streets, in courtrooms, and in Congress. And while we celebrate this important moment in history, we also recognize that law and practice continued to exclude women of color for decades more. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, which we continue to preserve and protect even today
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse was one of the first eight lighthouses built on the West Coast in the 1850s. At lighthouses across the United States, women were hired as lighthouse keepers, often when their husbands became ill or died. These women were paid the same amount as their male counterparts for equal work, becoming one of the first examples of pay equality in the federal government. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument never had a female lighthouse keeper, but women did serve as assistant keepers, including Maria Israel, who served alongside her husband, Robert Israel, from 1873 to 1876.