August 18: Nineteenth Amendment
On this day in 1920, Tennessee narrowly ratified the Nineteenth Amendment thereby adding women’s suffrage to the U.S. Constitution. The Nineteenth Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent (R-CA). It was identical to the Fifteenth Amendment, except that the Nineteenth prohibits the denial of suffrage because of sex and the Fifteenth because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Forty-one years later, it was finally approved by Congress and submitted to the states for ratification.
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The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
"Solitude of Self," Address before the Committee of the Judiciary of the United States Congress, January 18, 1892
Elizabeth Cady Stanton addresses the Committee of the Judiciary of the United States Congress in January of 1892. Lit2Go Duration: 29 minutes. Also available as a 7-page PDF. Reading level: 11.9. Word count: 4,056.
Four of the most important leaders of the Suffrage movement did not live to see the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Political cartoons capture some of the attitudes around the Suffrage movement.