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19th Amendment

August 18, 2011

On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote.  An amendment was first proposed in 1868.  By 1912, nine western states had adopted legislation permitting women’s suffrage.  Public sentiment turned with the adoption of women’s suffrage by New York in 1917 and with President Wilson’s change of heart to support it .  The measure was passed by Congress in 1919 and was ratified in 1920.

A leader in the women’s suffrage movement was Belva Lockwood.  She was the first woman to graduate from the National Law Center, the first woman to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court and the first woman to argue before it.  She ran a campaign for President in 1884 as a third-party candidate.  An informative display about Ms. Lockwood is located on the 2nd floor, near the library’s Help Desk in B204.

The library also has several books about Belva Lockwood, including Belva Lockwood:  The Women Who Would Be President, by Jill Norgren, and Supreme Court Decisions and Women’s Rights:  Milestones to Equality.

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