Happy birthday, 19th Amendment!

This weekend  we celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment (ratified on 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.

WORD-FOR-WORD

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.

Civic holidays are occasions to commemorate America’s history, celebrate our rights and responsibilities as citizens, and learn about our constitutional ideals. Download a PDF of the 2013 Civic Calendar here.

Holly Munson is the assistant editor of Constitution Daily.

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