ALTON — Charlene Gill of the Alton Museum of History and Art wants to educate people about the role Alton played in the Equal Rights Movement.
"People think the Equal Rights Amendment was passed," Gill said.
The Equal Rights Amendment would have mandated equality between men and women, especially in the workplace. It was proposed in 1923 and passed through Congress in 1972. It was only ratified by 35 out of the 38 required states, however, so it failed to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Neither Illinois nor Missouri ratified it.
One of the biggest voices against the proposed amendment was Phyllis Schlafly, an Alton native and syndicated columnist. Schlafly and her conservative group, the Eagle Forum, would attend meetings that supported the amendment and protest it. Charlene Gill was in attendance at a large rally in Houston in 1977.
Further Reading: Equal Rights Amendment