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Topics in Chronicling America - The Nineteenth Amendment

U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certifies the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920, giving women the Constitutional right to vote. First proposed in Congress in 1878, the amendment did not pass the House and Senate until 1919. It took another fifteen months before it was ratified by three-fourths of the states (thirty-six in total at the time) and finally became law in 1920. Read more about it!!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of the amendment

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1890: Wyoming enters the union with its suffrage laws intact, becoming the first state to allow women to vote.
  • 1916: Jeannette Rankin is elected as a Representative for Montana, becoming the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress.
  • 1917: Women picketing for suffrage in front of the White House are arrested in August and November. Some are sent to prison.
  • 1918: The House of Representatives passes a resolution for a woman suffrage amendment. The resolution is defeated in the Senate.
  • 1919: The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which gives women the right to vote, is adopted by a joint resolution in Congress.
  • August 26, 1920: After Tennessee becomes the thirty-sixth state to ratify the 19th Amendment, the Amendment is officially adopted and women are given the right to vote.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.]
  • Put variations of terms such as suffrage, suffragist or enfranchise into the box to search “with any of the words.”           
  • Put important terms such as women and vote into the box to search “with all of the words” to get articles that discuss women and voting.
  • When searching the names of organizations, search on words within their name like the National Women Suffrage Association, but also try searching on their acronyms such as NWSA.
  • Try searching names such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Susan B. Anthony by putting the first and last name within five words of each other.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 1, 2013
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