August 18, 1920 ~ this week ~The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.


By Fiza Pirani, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

afc.org

Image result for 19th Amendment

1. Not all women could actually vote after the 19th amendment was ratified.
The struggle for women’s suffrage did not end with the 19th Amendment’s ratification, especially for black women, who still faced barriers in some Southern states.

2. The 19th Amendment was drafted in 1878 by suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
It was introduced to Congress that same year by California Sen. Aaron A. Sargent.

3. The proposal sat in committee for nearly a decade only to be rejected in 1887 with a 16-to-34 vote.
After three more decades of no progress, another proposal was brought to the House in 1918. It finally passed the House on May 21, 1919 and the Senate on June 4, 1919.

4. The vote came down to a tiebreaker.
Two-thirds of House and Senate members were required to vote “yes” for its ratification. On Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the tie-breaker state in a 48-48 tie.

According to History.com, the decision fell to 23-year-old Republican Rep. Harry T. Burn, who opposed the amendment himself, but was convinced by his mother to approve it.

His mother reportedly wrote to her son: “Don’t forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the ‘rat’ in ratification.”
5. More than 8 million American women voted for the first time in the November 1920 elections.

6. In July 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, and the movement gained national spotlight.

The convention is widely regarded as the start of the women’s rights movement in America.

7. Stanton and Mott, along with a group of delegates, produced a “Declaration of Sentiments” document at the convention, modeled after the Declaration of Independence.
From the “Declaration of Sentiments:”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
8. Stanton and Anthony led several unsuccessful court challenges in the mid-1870s.

The women argued that the 14th Amendment, which granted universal citizenship, and the 15th Amendment together, which granted voting rights irrespective of race, guaranteed women’s voting rights.

But because Supreme Court decisions rejected their argument, suffrage leaders combined efforts to advocate for a new consititutional amendment.

9. It wasn’t until 1869, when the Wyoming Territory gave women ages 21 and up the same voting rights as men, including state voting rights, that there was a major victory for women’s voting rights.

10. Wyoming was also the first state to elect a female governor and its state nickname is “the Equality State.”
According to History.com, Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected governor in 1924.

11. A woman named Carrie Chapman Catt was instrumental in the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Catt, who in 1900 succeeded Anthony as the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), made the controversial decision to support the war effort in World War I, something her colleagues and supporters weren’t thrilled about.

Eventually, women’s help during the war gave them a more nationalistic reputation and in his 1918 State of the Union address, President Woodrow Wilson spoke in favor of women’s right to vote.
12. Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi all rejected the amendment before finally ratifying it after Aug. 18, 1920.

13. It took more than 60 years for the other 12 states to ratify the 19th Amendment.

14. Georgia ratified the amendment on Feb. 20, 1970, after rejecting it on July 24, 1919.

15. The last state to ratify the 19th amendment was Mississippi, which did so on March 22, 1984.

16. The amendment overruled the 1875 Minor vs. Happersett case, granting women the right to vote.
In the case, a Missouri state court refused to register a woman as a lawful voter because state laws said only men were allowed to vote.

17. Residents of U.S. colonies (such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands) still cannot vote in presidential elections and don’t have Congressional representatives.

18. The 19th Amendment was formally adopted on Aug. 26, 1920.

This day is now nationally recognized as Women’s Equality Day.
19. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, in every presidential election since 1980, the proportion of eligible women voters has exceeded the proportion of eligible males who voted.

Read the full text of the 19th Amendment.

In Memory of Julian Bond ~ speaks 8/2013


FallleavesinDCThousands are in Washington, D.C. to re-create something so powerful and so vivid that it still plays on loop in my mind. They’re here for the 50th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington.

We are returning amidst a newly reinvigorated fight for civil rights that has grown rapidly to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

After all, LGBT rights are civil rights.

No parallel between movements is exact. But like race, our sexuality and gender identity aren’t preferences. They are immutable, unchangeable – and the constitution protects us all against discrimination based on immutable differences.

Today, we are fighting for jobs, for economic opportunity, for a level playing field free of inequality and of discrimination. It’s the same fight our LGBT brothers and sisters are waging – and together we have formed a national constituency for civil rights.

And while we haven’t fully secured Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s most remarkable dream, we are getting closer every single day.

Julian Bond Then and Now Julian Bond with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and more recently at an HRC event.

In August 1963, I was the Communications Director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), led at the time by John Lewis, the march’s youngest speaker that day.

A gay black man by the name of Bayard Rustin was one of the chief organizers – an early embodiment of the unity and commonality that bonded the movement for LGBT equality with the fight for equal treatment of African-Americans.

In his honor, HRC will help lead a commemoration of Bayard’s incredible contributions to the civil rights movement on Monday. And it was recently announced that President Obama will posthumously award Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian award in the United States.

Fifty years later, I can still feel the power of that noble, August day. Its weight is what drove me for years – from founding the Southern Poverty Law Center, to overseeing the NAACP as Chairman, not to mention the ten terms I served as a member of the Georgia legislature. And later, that exact same commitment to achieving equal rights is what convinced me to stand with the Human Rights Campaign in endorsing marriage equality.

Together we have marched millions of miles to land on the right side of history, and today we stand firmly planted, hoping only that more will join us, one by one, until everyone in this nation is truly free and equal. I know you are with the marchers today – in spirit and in solidarity – and I hope you’ll follow the news coverage of today’s powerful events.

Thank you for being part of the historic struggle for civil rights.

Sincerely,

Julian Bond Chairman Emeritus, NAACP