August 26, 2009

AUGUST 26 - The 19th Amendment

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

On August 26, 1920, these words officially became part of the Constitution of the United States when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect.

The long, hard fight for women’s suffrage started in earnest in the mid-1800s. But it wasn’t until 1919 that both houses of Congress finally passed a proposed constitutional amendment to allow women to vote and sent it to the states for ratification.

On August 23, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th – and final necessary state – to ratify the amendment. Three days later it was officially declared effective as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

In 1971, at the request of pioneering Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY), the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

Since then, Women’s Equality Day has been celebrated every year on this date by women – and men – who care about equal civil rights.

(Hi, Phyllis. Happy Women’s Equality Day!)

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