“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.” One hundred years ago, Bainbridge Colby, Secretary of State of the United States, certified that the 19th Amendment had become valid as a part of the Constitution. Women now had the right to vote.
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was the culmination of decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and engaged in civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans at the time considered an unnecessary and harmful mistake. Few of the early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.