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Votes for Women

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August 26, 2010, was the 90th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, by a vote of 304 to 89. The Senate passed the amendment on June 4, by a vote of 56 to 25. Tennessee ratified the amendment on August 18, 1920, clearing the final hurdle of obtaining the required agreement of three-fourths of the states. On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the amendment’s adoption.

19th Amendment
19th Amendment

H.J. Res 1 proposed the 19th Amendment to the states and can be seen in the United States Statutes at Large at 41 Stat. 362 (image at right). The signed copy is held at the National Archives and an image can be seen in their online exhibit for the 19th Amendment along with more background.

Votes for Women (Photographer Unknown)

The Library of Congress has documents and photographs, as well as laws, related to the 19th Amendment in its collection. The Votes for Women: National American Women Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921, has 167 books, pamphlets and other artifacts documenting the suffrage campaign. Particularly interesting is the timeline document One Hundred Years towards Suffrage. The Library of Congress also has “Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920, as a pictorial partner for the text documents. The Law Library of Congress features a commemorative page on Women’s History Month updated each year. The page discusses the history of the month and lists executive and legislative documents.

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