The 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

The Eighth Annual Law Day Yosemite was held on Friday, May 8, 2020, on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Honorable Jeremy D. Peterson was our Master of Ceremonies. 

President Eisenhower set May 1 as Law Day to celebrate the rule of law and equal rights. Courts and bar associations across the country now participate in the observance, which generally occurs over several weeks in April and May.

The 2020 Law Day Yosemite included an essay contest for grammar school students. The theme, The 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, focused on the right to vote regardless of gender. The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women's suffrage amendment failed until 1919, when suffragists pressed President Woodrow Wilson to call a special congressional session. On May 21, 1919, the proposed amendment passed the House of Representatives, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919; it was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 states to secure ratification. The Nineteenth Amendment was officially adopted on August 26, 1920: the culmination of a decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both state and national levels.


The essay winners for the 2020 Law Day were:

Honorable Mention: Robert Gresham, Coarsegold Elementary
Third Place: Tillyanna Healey, Woodland Elementary
Second Place: Erica Wohlgemuth, Oak Creek Intermediate
First Place: Bryce Lee Nicolson, Tenaya Elementary


The essasys submitted this year were all of very high quality and made judging very difficult. Of the top essasys, the judges had this to say:

Third Place Winner Tilyanna Healey - Judges' Comments:

"The author appropriately raises paradoxes in public perception about whether voting works to effect institutional change in government."

"Essay addresses all of the writing prompts with detailed clarity and well thought out content. Examples are supported by relevant evidence, which expands the development of the essay. Only minor grammatical errors. Very nice work!"


Second Place Winner Erica Wohlgemuth - Judges' Comments:

"Well-composed and researched essay that ably supports its conclusion. I hope middle schools do require civics education for the reasons stated in this essay."

"Flawless essay with deeply critical thought and logical reasoning. Organization and grammar are exceptional. Clarity of thought and quality of essay are fantastic. Very nicely done!"


First Place Winner Bryce Lee Nicolson - Judges' Comments:

"Essay addresses all of the writing prompts with exceptional clarity and well thought out arguments. Organization is fantastic and development of the essay is highly interesting. Only minor grammatical errors. Very nice work!"

"The author fills the page with important, well-researched information that drives the essay's narrative."


This year's winners received prizes provided by the support of our sponsors.

3rd prize was an Apple Watch Series 3
2nd prize was a 9.7” iPad 128 GB with a leather case
1st prize was a 9.7” iPad 128 GB with a leather case and an Apple Pencil

Congratulations to all the winners in this year's Law Day Essay Contest.


The essay prompt this year was designed so that the winning essays may be eligible for the AAUW National Essay Contest.


Law Day Yosemite 2020 was sponsored by:

Bee Sweet Oranges
Sierra Tel
McCormick Barstow,LLP
Weakley & Ardent LLP
Yosemite Hospitality
National Park Service
Yosemite Conservancy
Yosemite Mariposa Rotary
Bill of Rights Institute
Mariposa Board of Supervisors
San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the FBA


For more information, please contact Carol Moses, or call (559) 449-9069.