The Woman Suffrage Amendment was first introduced on January 10, 1878. It was resubmitted numerous times until it was finally approved by both the House and Senate in June 1919. The bill needed to be approved by two-thirds of the states, so suffragists spent the next year lobbying state legislatures to gain support for the bill. On August 24, 1920, Tennessee became 36th and final state to ratify the amendment, which passed by only one vote. That one vote belonged to Harry Burn, who heeded the words of his mother when she urged him to vote for suffrage. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the amendment into law on August 26, 1920.
Fifty years later on August 26th, 1970, Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women organized a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality. Women across the political spectrum joined together to demand equal opportunities in employment and education, as well as 24-hour childcare centers. This was the largest protest for gender equality in United States history. There were demonstrations and rallies in more than 90 major cities and small towns across the country and over 100,000 women participated, including 50,000 who marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City.
It was a good day – for men who support women’s rights to stand up and be counted.