June 04, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Today is the 89th Anniversary of the Approval of the 19th Amendment by Congress. In honor of my study of primary sources, I present a few in honor of the day.

19th Amendment: 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.

from the Handbook of the National American Woman Suffrage Association: and proceedings of the Convention held at Cleveland, Ohio, April 13, 1921

This pamphlet contains the last report of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. This association, and its predecessors whose aim and work in carried forward, have published reports of their proceedings for seventy-four years. The records from 1848, when the first Woman's Rights Convention was held, to 1884, are preserved in the History of Woman Suffrage. The records since 1884 have been published annually, this report closing the series.

There have been few women whose words or deeds during the last half century have warranted their mention in our national history who have not at some time been members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and hundreds of men and women who are known as leaders of thought have spoken upon its platform. In the earlier years, contending for the fullest freedom of all women to educational, industrial, civil, social and political opportunity, the association was the sole exponent of the woman's cause in the United States. During those years prejudice was intensely stubborn and bitter and all progress for the woman's movement was made against the current of public opinion. In later years when many organizations of women each carrying forward some specific phase of the woman's struggle had come into existence, the National American continued to lead the advance section of the movement, and devoted its endeavors exclusively to the campaign for woman suffrage.

It now has the proud satisfaction of having achieve its purpose and finished its work. It has bequeathed to American women an opportunity, a dignity and liberty which in 1848 were a dream in the minds only of a few. With this final report one of the most unique and significant chapters of American history is closed.

Carrie Chapman Catt.

all materials from the Library of Congress Women's History Collection

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