100 years ago today, on June 4, 1919, the United States Senate passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was then submitted to the states for ratification. 36 states were required to ratify it, with the 36th state being Tennessee in 1920. The last state to ratify the amendment was Mississippi in 1984. It seems like such a long time ago, but my grandmother on my dad’s side and my great-grandmother on my mom’s side were both alive to see the passage of the 19th Amendment, which is just mind boggling to me.
The Nineteenth Amendment prohibited the state and federal government from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex, and was initially introduced to Congress in 1878. The amendment didn’t gain traction in Congress until 1919, when suffragists mobilized to convince President Woodrow Wilson, Congress and state legislatures to act on the amendment.
It was a long road to get to the Nineteenth Amendment, and even longer still before every woman, regardless of race, could vote in the United States. There is still work to be done in regards to ensuring that every woman, and every person, who is eligible to vote in the U.S. can do so. However, the progress that has been made in the last 100 years has been undeniable and I hope progress continues to be made so that women and girls, and all people, can be equal under the law.
For further information, check out these links below:
Women’s Right to Vote
The Nineteenth Amendment – The National Archives
The Nineteenth Amendment – The Library of Congress
Girl Museum Inc.