The next year, on February 14, 1920 - six months before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified - the League was formally organized in Chicago as the national League of Women Voters. Catt described the purpose of the new organization:
"The League of Women Voters is not to dissolve any present organization but to unite all existing organizations of women who believe in its principles. It is not to lure women from partisanship but to combine them in an effort for legislation which will protect coming movements, which we cannot even foretell, from suffering the untoward conditions which have hindered for so long the coming of equal suffrage. Are the women of the United States big enough to see their opportunity?"
Maud Wood Park became the first national president of the League and thus the first League leader to rise to the challenge. She had steered the women's suffrage amendment through Congress in the last two years before ratification and liked nothing better than legislative work. From the very beginning, however, it was apparent that the legislative goals of the League were not exclusively focused on women's issues and that citizen education aimed at all of the electorate was in order.
During the postwar period, the League helped lead the effort to establish the United Nations and to ensure U.S. Participation. The League was one of the first organizations in the country officially recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization; it still maintains official observer status today.
See also League History from the League of Women Voters of the US.
In the 1970s, the LWVN was involved with issues such as affordable housing, protection of open space, support of handgun control, and a graduated income tax. In the 1980's and 1990's, issues facing the LWVN included transportation and education. The LWVN recommended that Needham High School eliminate numerical class rank, and the school committee ultimately agreed.
More recently we have focused our efforts on climate change and natural resources, voter and citizen education, immigration, campaign finance reform, and participation in town government.
When the 1961 time capsule was opened in Needham on July 4, 2011, there were three LWVN items deemed worth saving in that time capsule. The items included:
all clearly labeled as LWV of Needham publications.