Trivia Minute August 18, 2015

155: 19th Amendment Grants Women the Right to Vote in U.S.

by Marcus Michelson
"Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Women_suffragists_picketing_in_front_of_the_White_house.jpg#/media/File:Women_suffragists_picketing_in_front_of_the_White_house.jpg
Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Today is the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which gave women the right to vote.

Here are some things you may not have known about the amendment.

The 19th amendment was introduced in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent of California, but was not passed by Congress until June 4, 1919. Six days later it was ratified by the legislatures of Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. The amendment gathered 22 of the needed 36 ratifications by the end of 1919. On August 18, 1920, the Tennessee legislature ratified it, officially adding it to the constitution.

The amendment was eventually ratified by all 48 states that were members of the Union at the time.

The text of the amendment was nearly identical to that of the 15th amendment, which granted the vote to those disenfranchised on the basis of race. Because of this precedent , the 19th amendment stood up to an almost-immediate constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court in the case of Leser vs. Garnett.

Our question, In what year did Mississippi become the final state to ratify the 19th amendment?

Today is also: Constitution Day in Indonesia, Vietnam Veterans’ Day in Australia and National Science Day in Thailand. In the United States it is unofficially National Ice Cream Pie Day and National Mail Order Catalog Day. It’s the birthday of American explorer Meriwether Lewis, American actor Robert Redford, and former Mexican president Felipe Calderon.

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