Whatever your political beliefs, this week marked an enormously important historical breakthrough for women in the United States. Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States from a national political party.
She is not the first woman to run for President. Over forty others have tried -Victoria Woodhull was first in 1872, and more recently Shirley Chisholm in 1972. But Hillary Clinton is the first woman who actually won enough delegates to be declared the presumptive nominee.
That historic day was Hillary Clinton’s Mother’s birthday. Dorothy Howell Rodham was born June 4, 1919, the very day that the Senate passed the Woman Suffrage Amendment that would eventually grant women the right to vote. The House of Representatives had passed it January 10, 1918, by a generous margin, 274 to 136 votes. But the Senate dragged its collective feet. Several attempts failed, and the ultimate passage was by a narrow two-thirds majority, 56 to 25 votes.
Of course, since it was an amendment to the Constitution it had to be ratified by three-quarters of the states (36 in 1919), and that took even longer, over fourteen months to be exact. But on August 26, 1920 the amendment was finally ratified, and women throughout the nation were fully enfranchised at last.
Stay tuned – it’s just the beginning of an historic, exciting year!