December 11, 1879

Birth of Gertrude Weil
On December 18, 1879, Gertrude Weil was born. Gertie was the 1st woman from North Carolina to graduate from Smith College. During her life, Gertie did so much more! "Federation Gertie", as she was sometimes called, used her Jewish teachings to inspire her social activism, including women's suffrage. In 1911, Gertie joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association, fighting for federal law (19th Amendment) allowing women the right to vote. Gertie co-founded the Goldsboro Equal Suffrage Association in 1914 and became the association's first president. Gertie worked tirelessly gathering signatures and endorsements for the 19th Amendment. Despite her work and the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920, Gertie's home state of North Carolina refused to ratify the amendment. (Tennessee cast the final needed vote.) It wasn't until 1971, just 24 days before Gertie dies, that North Carolina endorsed the 19th Amendment. You did it, Gertie!