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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thank you, Harry Burn!

After working many factory jobs during World War I, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Carrie Chapman Catt, reminded the President and the Congress that they felt this work, during war, should be rewarded with political equality.

Wilson began to respond to this and in a speech on September 18, 1918, he said "We have made partners of the women in this war. Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of right?"

Less than a year later, the House of Representatives passed, in a 304 to 90 vote, a proposed Amendment to the Constitution:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any States on Account of sex. The Congress shall have the power by appropriate legislation to enforce the provisions of this article.

On June 4, 1919, the United States Senate also endorsed the Amendment, voting 56 to 25, and sending the amendment to the states. When thirty-five of the necessary thirty-six states had ratified the amendment, the battle came to Nashville, Tennessee.

On August 18, 1920, the final vote was scheduled and one young legislator by the name of Harry Burn, saw that the vote was very close, and with his anti-suffrage vote would be tied 48 to 48, he decided to vote as his mother had urged him: for the right of women to vote.

Tennessee became the 36th and deciding state to ratify and on August 26, 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections, including in the Presidential election.

Did you exercise your right today?

1 random thoughts:

Jean said...

I watched the movie "Iron Jawed Angels." Its about the fight of the women to vote. Very amazing and powerful. Wilson was against women voting.

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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