On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Legislature ratified the 19th Amendment

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Legislature ratified the 19th Amendment
The Alabama Equal Suffrage Association (AESA), consisting of members of Selma and Birmingham suffrage organizations, joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association to lead the fight for white women's right to vote in Alabama. The state legislature would not ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, but in 1920 suffrage was achieved and the AESA was dissolved. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Sept. 19, 1953

The fight for the right for women to vote officially ended in 1920 when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In Alabama, there was an active suffragist movement, led by the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association, but opposition by some Alabama groups resulted in the Legislature not taking up the amendment, and after Tennessee signed on the issue was moot. Thirty-three years later, the Legislature decided to “record its approval of extending the right of suffrage to women” and officially ratified the 19th Amendment. Although the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association dissolved in 1920, many of its leaders and members joined the newly founded League of Women Voters, which remains active today in Alabama elections.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama or Landmarks of Dekalb County.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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