100 Years Ago today – New York Ratifies the 19th Amendment

On June 16, 1919 New York State was one of the first states to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving all women throughout the nation the right to vote.

The battle for the vote represented over seventy years of an intense campaign – writing, marching, speaking, publishing newspapers, begging for funds, circulating petitions – and all those efforts seemed finally to be coming to a successful end. On May 19, 1919 the House of Representatives passed the measure (for the second time) and finally, on June 4, 1919 the Senate followed. Now the amendment had to be ratified by thirty-six states to become law.

Although New York had already granted women the right to vote in 1917 it was extremely important for them to help their sisters throughout the nation also secure that right. Finally, on August 18, 1920 it passed the Tennessee legislature, (the 36th state) and became law of the land on August 26, 1920 when US Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby officially entered it into the US Constitution. New York State had led the way, and could be justly proud of its contribution to political equality for all.

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