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100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 10:37am
By:
Alan Flurry

On August 18, 1920, the United States ratified the #19thAmendment guaranteeing all American women the right to vote.

We celebrate the suffragists who bravely fought the fight for equality, as well as the many women leading our country today. Our most important right and duty as citizens depends on full participation. This historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today.

 

Suffragists began their organized fight for women’s equality in 1848 when they demanded the right to vote during the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. For the next 72 years, women leaders lobbied, marched, picketed, and protested for the right to the ballot. The U.S. House of Representatives finally approved the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, on May 21, 1919. The U.S. Senate followed two weeks later, and the 19th Amendment went to the states, where it had to be ratified by 3/4ths of the-then-48 states to be added to the Constitution. By a vote of 50-47,  Tennessee became the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby issued a proclamation declaring the 19th Amendment ratified and part of the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, forever protecting American women’s right to vote. 

As our namesake Benjamin Franklin said upon exiting the Constitutional Convention when approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created, "A republic, if you can keep it." 

 

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