Letter: Celebrating women’s suffrage
Although efforts to secure voting rights for women began in 1848, it took until after World War I for the president and Congress to seriously consider the issue. After passage by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution moved to the state legislatures. In 1920, 35 of the 36 states needed had ratified the amendment, and the issue was before the legislature in Tennessee. Harry Burn, a young representative who had voted with anti-suffrage forces, listen to his mother’s plea to support the right of women to vote, and he led Tennessee to become the 36th and deciding state to ratify the 19th Amendment.
The amendment giving women full voting rights was signed into law on Aug. 26, 1920, and this year marks the 93rd anniversary of that historic event. In 1971 this date was named Women’s Equality Day and commemorates the accomplishments and recognizes the challenges that still face women.
The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire celebrates the right of women to vote and continues to focus on protecting the voting rights of all eligible voters. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues through education and advocacy.
(The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire.)