June 4, 1919: Congress passes the 19th amendment, allowing women the vote
In the early 19th century, women fought tooth and nail to gain the right to vote. They’ve had to sit on the sidelines and watch their opinions mean nothing at elections. Fortunately, the government decided to do the right thing.
Fight for your right
In the early 1870s, women tried to sneak into the voting booths, but they were all turned away. Susan B. Anthony managed to become the first woman to vote in 1872, but she would be arrested. In 1875, Congress made things worse by announcing the Fourteenth Amendment didn’t give women the right to vote. Following this decision, the women’s suffrage movement was determined to overrule it. Rival suffrage organizations decided to put their differences aside to make voting a reality sooner than later. The two biggest organizations (American Woman Suffrage Association and National Woman Suffrage Association) merged into one unit. As the National American Woman Suffrage Association, they easily grew to two million members.
A trickling of voters
Over time, certain states allowed women to vote, but it was only for smaller elections. They could vote for who would win the school elections or who would join the Electoral College. As far as voting for president of the United States, that was still off the table. During World War I, a numerous amount of women from NAWSA helped out on the home front. President Woodrow Wilson saw their efforts and knew he had to expand their rights.
Finally getting the vote
On January 12, 1915, a suffrage bill delivered to the House, but Democrats shot it down. Following this decision, suffrage bills were re-introduced in 1918 and 1919, but they were also rejected. Fed up with everyone’s behavior, Wilson decided to solidify this on May 21, 1919, with the 19th Amendment. This would officially ban people from denying voters based on their gender. With a House vote of 304 to 89, the amendment made its way to the Senate on June 4, 1919. With 56 ayes to 25 nays, the 19th Amendment was finally passed. The 2020 presidential election was the first time women were allowed to vote. As expected, they came out in droves to let their voices heard.