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90th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
08.18.2010. 90th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote. Ninety years ago today, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote, was ratified. That amendment reads: “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.”
On this day, Tennessee became the thirty-sixth state legislature to ratify the amendment and make it the law of the land. Legend has it that with the vote tied, it all came down to 24 year old legislator Harry Burn. Burn has sided with suffrage opponents in the past, but he decided to take the advice of his mother who urged him to break the tie for the amendment and put the suffrage vote over the top and the amendment into law. On the floor of the Tennessee House the next day, Burn explained his vote by saying that his mother “had always taught him that a good boy always does what his mother asks him to do.” Thanks to Harry and Mrs. Burn!
This year I co-patroned HJ 210 with Delegate Charnelle Herring of Alexandria, a Resolution which passed unanimously, Commending the League of Women Voters of Virginia on the occasion of this 90th Anniversary. You can read the resolution here: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HJ210ER+pdf
Also, in May of this year, I joined many of my colleagues to sponsor an event benefitting “The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial” which is working with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to raise funds to erect a memorial to commemorate women in Virginia who played a pivotal role in fighting for our right to vote. This Saturday, August 21, the Turning Point Suffragist Committee will be observing the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. at Occoquan Regional Park, 9520 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079, the site of the future Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. At the Park there will be a ceremonial planting of a tree in honor of the suffragists and their struggle and the Memorial that is being built. There will also be a re-enactment of a parade for women's voting rights. Further details about the event and the Memorial project can be found at: www.suffragistmemorial.org <http://www.suffragistmemorial.org/>