National Women’s History Month
The theme for 2020 is “Valiant Women of the Vote”, honoring the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest. The woman suffrage movement actually began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that launched the suffrage movement.
On May 21, 1919, U.S. Representative James R. Mann, a Republican from Illinois and chairman of the Suffrage Committee, proposed the House resolution to approve the Susan Anthony Amendment granting women the right to vote. The measure passed the House 304 to 89- a full 42 votes above the required two-thirds majority.
Two weeks later, on June 4, 1919, the U.S. Senate passed the 19th Amendment by two votes over its two-thirds required majority, 56-25. The amendment was then sent to the states for ratification. By March 1920, a total of 35 states had approved the amendment, one state shy of the two-thirds required for ratification. Representative Harry T. Burn, a Republican from McMinn County, Tennessee opposed the amendment, but was convinced by his mother to approve it. With Burn’s vote, the 19th Amendment was fully ratified.
On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified by U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, and women finally achieved the long-sought right to vote throughout the United States. It took over 60 years for the remaining 12 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. Mississippi was the last to do so, on March 22, 1984.
Be sure you exercise the right they fought for!
North Carolina Suffrage History
As we celebrate 100 years of women’s right to vote and Women’s History Month, we remember the women of North Carolina who worked to advance our rights. In November 1913, North Carolina’s Women Suffragists met in Charlotte and elected Barbara Henderson of Chapel Hill as president. On December 1st, the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association became affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
By 1918, North Carolina boasted 1,000 members. Their efforts were devoted to advancing suffrage in a non-violent manner. This issue was very controversial, so maintaining stability at home and in local communities was a major focus of the association.
In 1920, with the 19th Amendment ratified by 35 of the 36 states, North Carolina suffragists hoped they would cast the deciding vote. They were very disappointed when the North Carolina State Senate tabled the issue. With time, North Carolina Suffragettes joined the League of Women Voters. In 1971, 51 years later, North Carolina finally ratified the 19th Amendment.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.