Fifty years for the 19th amendment — 50 years ago

50 years ago — August 24, 1970

“One hundred years ago women voted for the first time in American elections in Utah and the Territory of Wyoming. The country did not fall apart when the hand that rocked the cradle began to rule. Just fifty years ago Congress submitted the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution to the states for ratification. … On August 26, 1920, twenty-six million women of voting age were enfranchised. They infused fresh energy into American political life at every level.” It was the Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 that got the ball rolling. The convention drew women and men into the intellectual leadership of the movement for women’s suffrage. “The women’s rights movement was stimulated in the debate over slavery and the rights of blacks when female abolitionists, for example, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, found it next to impossible to participate in debates because they were women. … The women saw their own liberties as bound up with the liberties of the blacks. As they developed their own movement they were joined by outstanding black women, Sojourner Truth, Frances E. W. Harper, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, as well as the great emancipator, Frederick Douglass.”

From “Fifty years for the 19th amendment” by James H. Smylie