Yesterday was the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the US constitution. Im especially partial to this one because it granted women the right to vote, declaring 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.
Tennessee, where we are right now for the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, is the state whose General Assembly passed the suffrage amendment by one vote Aug. 18, 1920. By becoming the 36th state to ratify the amendment, Tennessee assured the approval of the three-fourths of the statesthe final requirement necessary for ratification.
Assemblyman Henry T. Burn from McMinn County provided the tie-breaking vote. He originally planned to vote against the 19th amendment, but a letter from his mother changed his mind.
I notice some of the speeches against,” she wrote. “They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don’t forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. [Carrie Chapman] Catt put the “rat” in ratification.
The next day, Burn told the Assembly that he changed his vote because “a good boy always does what his mother asks him to do.”
Read about the long struggle for womens suffrage and the passage of the 19th amendment on these sites: