Anniversary of 19th U.S. Constitution Amendment Passage August 18
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified August 18,1920 giving women the constitutional right to vote. Adding an amendment requires passage by two-thirds of each chamber of Congress, then ratification by three-fourths of the states, which in 1919 was 36 of the 48 states.
Alaska and Hawaii were still U.S. territories. On May 21, 1918 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the language that would become the 19th Amendment. It had passed in early 1918 but the Senate had not passed it.
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex."
My Mom and Dad always commented about their belief it is a citizen of the United States duty to exercise their voting rights. Mom used to kid Dad she voted in all the elections to cancel his vote. Their example though I believe carried on in their children. I guess I can't speak for my siblings but I have voted in every election since becoming eligible.
I turned 18 December of 1976.May 21, 1919 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the amendment again. June 4, 1919 the U.S. Senate followed setting up the race for ratification.
The first states to ratify June 10, 1919 were Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. The National American Woman Suffrage Association declared, "A Vote for Every Woman in 1920!" after the U.S. Congress passed it.
Special legislative sessions were called in Kanasa, Ohio and New York to ratify June 16, 1919. June 24 Pennsylvania, June 25 Massachusetts, June 28 Texas.
July 2, 1919 Iowa became the 10th state to ratify. July 3 Missouri held a special session and also ratified.
July 24, 1919 Georgia became the first state to vote against ratification. This despite the fact the first National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention in 1895 was held in Atlanta. In 1970, Georgia voted in favor of the 19th Amendment as a formality.
July 28 Arkansas pushed the effort to one-third of the way home.
August 2 Montana and Nebraska joined the list.
Minnesota voted to ratify the 19th Amendment on September 8, 1919. Minnesota women had first won the right to vote in school board elections in 1875. The state saw growing membership in the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association and Scandanavian Suffrage Association but were unable to win full suffrage until the 1919 vote.
Minnesota was the 15th state to ratify.
September 10th a special session was called for New Hampshire to take a vote. It passed.
September 22, 1919 Alabama became the second state to reject the amendment.
September 30, 1919 Utah was the 17th state to ratify.
November 1st California put them halfway. California women actually gained the right to vote in their state in 1911.
November 5th Main ratified in a special session.
December 1st North Dakota became the 20th state in the race to ratification. Women had the right to vote in school board elections in the Dakota territory in 1883. December 4th South Dakota voted to ratify. December 14th Colorado was the last state to ratify in 1919.
January 6, 2020 Kentucky and Rhode Island kicked off the new year with two more victories. Rhode Island was the first state to have a statewide suffrage organization. January 13th Oregon became the 25th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Women in Oregon actually had the right to vote beginning in 1912.
January 16, 1920 Indiana, January 27th Wyoming joined the effort. In 1868 the Wyoming Territorial Legislature passed a woman suffrage bill on a 13 to 6 vote. Two years later lawmakers tried to get the bill repealed. They passed a measure to repeal but the Governor vetoed it. It became part of the new state's constitution in 1890.
January 28th South Carolina said no.
February 7, 1920 Nevada ratified. They had already won the right to vote in state and local races in 1914. February 9th New Jersey, February 11th Idaho, February 12th Arizona voted unanimously in favor.
February 12, 1920 Virginia rejected but later symbolically ratified February 21, 1952.
February 21st New Mexico became the 32nd state. February 24th Maryland was the fifth state to reject it.
February 28, 1920 Oklahoma said yes.
March 10th West Virginia passed in the House during a special session but deadlocked in the Senate. Senator Jesse Bloch was vacationing in California and received word of the tie. He hopped on a train immediately (didn't even change out of his swimming suit) and headed back east to cast his deciding vote to ratify.
March 22nd Washington was number 35. March 31st Mississippi rejected, June 2nd Delaware also rejected. July 1st Louisiana rejected.
August 18, 1920 Tennessee ratified in a special session. It was a close vote with one of those who expressed his desire to reject, Harry Burn voting in favor to break a tie. He had a letter in his pocket placed there by his mother, Phoebe wrote, "Dear Son, Hurray and vote for suffrage and don't keep them in doubt. Don't forget to be a good boy."
The Minnesota Historical Society is launching an online exhibit August 26, 2020. That date is chosen because it is the date the vote for ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was certified.
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