The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, August 18, 1920

Teaching with Curated Collections

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, August 18, 1920

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment to the Constitution, but barely. Members of the state legislature were expected to cast 48 votes for the amendment and 48 votes against. At the last minute, 23-year-old Rep. Harry Burn, who was expected to vote against, changed his mind and voted for the 19th amendment. His mother had encouraged him to vote for the amendment. With Tennessee's vote, two-thirds of the states ratified the amendment to grant women the right to vote, and women's full suffrage became the law of the land. 

Women had been organizing for the right to vote since 1848. The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association launched in 1881 and was active across the state for decades, holding parades, writing letters, contacting elected officials, and raising money. The State Legislature granted Minnesota women the right to vote in 1919, and ratified the national amendment the same year. The end of a 72-year fight for suffrage was big news across the state and nation.

You can see all six pages of the August 18, 1920 Bemidji Daily Pioneer on the Minnesota Newspaper Hub. The front-page story is continued on page six.

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