1920 November 2

Women Vote For First Time in Federal Elections


Women voted for the first time in federal elections on this day. The Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920. Women had previously voted in state and local elections in a number of states that had granted women the right to vote. See, for example, the first women to vote in New York on November 5, 1918.

Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment was hastened by the militant suffragist protests in Washington, DC, organized and led by Alice Paul. For some of the highlights of that campaign, see March 3, 1913, January 10, 1917, August 11, 1917, and November 15, 1917. The protests finally convinced President Woodrow Wilson to change his mind and to support the suffrage amendment, which he did on January 9, 1918.

Read Paul’s biography: Mary Walton, A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot (2010)

Read Paul’s Oral History interview: http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt6f59n89c/

And more at National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/woman-suffrage/kaiser-wilson.htm

Read: Christine A. Lunardini, From Equal Suffrage to Equal Rights: Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party, 1910–1928 (1986)

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