1848…It had been 72 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed and Elizabeth Cady Stanton along with Lucretia Mott and about 200 other woman suffragists, first introduced a radical concept for the time. A woman’s right to vote in Seneca Falls, N.Y. The moment was met with obvious public ridicule and some withdrew their support, but the movement had started.
Two years later the first national woman’s rights convention was held in 1850 and continued annually. Only 19 years later, Susan B. Anthony founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association along with Stanton to push for the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Lucy Stone also formed the American Woman Suffrage Association in the same year and the two groups led the charge for a woman’s right to vote.
Taking just 21 years, in 1890, the first major battle was won by the groups, Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right to vote. Over the next 30 years the groups continued their campaign. Instead of simply using questionnaires and lobbying, the groups began to take a more pro-active approach, picketing the White House, marching as well as staged acts of civil disobedience.
August 26, 1920…This is the day that Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the amendment and it became ratified by the United States. However, several days before on August 18, 1920 Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment which gave it the two-thirds majority needed to become the law of the land.
The movement has continued since 1920 with women taking a much larger role in the workforce. “Family business is the ultimate equalizer,” said Tammy Shearer, vice president of Camera Box Professional Photography, “everyone is expected to work regardless of gender, race or age.” She added, “I work as hard as a man, and I am dedicated and passionate about life and liberty – my voice has every right to be heard which is why I am actively involved with politics, government and the community.”
Today we remember all of those who have paved the way for us, as we strive to continue to pursue the cause they began all those years ago.