19th Amendment: Women’s Gain the Right to Vote

A "Votes for Women" pennant. (Image from Indianapolis Children's Museum via Wikimedia Commons)
A “Votes for Women” pennant. (Image from Indianapolis Children’s Museum via Wikimedia Commons)

Today is the 96th 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 first U.S. territory to grant women the right to vote was Wyoming in 1869, followed by Utah in 1870 and Washington in 1883.

Wyoming would become known as the Equality State when it entered the union in 1890. The state also had the first female governor when Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected in 1924.

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 making it part of the constitution.

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.

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

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


Today is Constitution Day in Indonesia, Armed Forces Day in Macedonia, and National Science Day in Thailand.

It’s unofficially National Bad Poetry Day, National Soft Ice Cream Day, and Mail Order Catalog Day.

It’s the birthday of explorer Meriwether Lewis, who was born in 1774; baseball legend Roberto Clemente, who was born in 1934; and actor Robert Redford, who turns 80.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1982, the top song in the U.S. was “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.

The No. 1 movie was “Friday the 13th Part III,” while “Different Seasons” by Stephen King topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.


Weekly question

What role does Woodstock the bird play in Snoopy’s World War I Flying Ace daydreams in the “Peanuts” comic strip?


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