Happy birthday, 19th Amendment!
Throughout 2012, we’ll be celebrating the 225th anniversary of the Constitution. But the Constitution drafted and signed in 1787 was just the beginning–since then, “We the People” have amended the Constitution 27 times.
On Saturday, we celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment (ratified August 18, 1920). Here’s what you need to know:
WHAT IT DOES
The 19th Amendment guarantees women the right to vote.
WHY IT WAS ADDED
Although women were active participants in America’s fight for independence, in the abolition and temperance movements, and in many aspects of political life throughout history, they they did not achieve a guaranteed right to vote until almost 150 years after the nation’s founding. By 1920, “We the People” included women at last.
The deciding vote to ratify the 19th Amendment was cast by a young Tennessee assembly member named Harry Burn, whose mother encouraged him to “be a good boy” and vote for suffrage.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Constitution and civic holidays and milestones throughout the year! Download a hi-res PDF for the National Constitution Center’s 2012 civic calendar from our Education page.
Holly Munson is a programs coordinator at the National Constitution Center and the assistant editor of Constitution Daily.