On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the thirty-sixth state to ratify the 19th Amendment, reaching the threshold of state approval required to extend the vote to women across the United States. Below, National Woman’s Party co-founder Alice Paul is shown at the organization’s headquarters unfurling a completed ratification banner, which sported a star to represent each state that ratified the amendment. Fellow suffragists celebrate the moment, some with arms held up in victory.
Each time a state ratified the amendment the National Woman’s Party would add a star to the banner — as Alice Paul is doing in the image below — making the banner itself a document of the progress of the women’s suffrage movement. One hundred years on, these images provide an opportunity to reflect on the hard work that went into advancing women’s rights at that time, and the efforts of those who in the intervening years have worked to gain all American women access to the vote.
- Explore “Shall Not be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote,” the Library of Congress exhibit chronicling the women’s suffrage movement in the United States.
- See selected images related to the women’s suffrage movement in this guide: Women’s Suffrage: Pictures of Suffragists and their Activities.
- View images from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division’s National Woman’s Party records, in their “Women of Protest” online presentation.
- Teachers may be interested in the resources shown in this Library of Congress women’s suffrage teachers’ guide.