On this historic day, August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote

On this historic day, August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote

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On that day in history, August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.

It is considered one of the great milestones in the fight for gender equality.

The change was often referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Change, in reference to the famous suffragist whose extraordinary efforts championed women’s right to be heard at the ballot box.

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“From the earliest history of our country, woman has shown equal devotion to the cause of liberty as man, and stood firm in its defense,” Anthony wrote in her Declaration of the Rights of Women of the United States of July 4, 1876 .

“Woman’s wealth, thought, and labor have cemented the stones of every monument erected by man to liberty.”

Alice Paul unfurls a banner from the balcony of the National Women's Party headquarters showing a star for each state that has ratified the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.  The women celebrated Tennessee's ratification of the August 1920 amendment—the Amendment Act.

Alice Paul unfurls a banner from the balcony of the National Women’s Party headquarters showing a star for each state that has ratified the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. The women celebrated Tennessee’s ratification of the August 1920 amendment—the Amendment Act. (Bettman/Getty Images)

Women in the United States first gained the right to vote in Wyoming Territory in 1869.

After another half-century of struggle, the nationwide effort to grant rights to all American women gained momentum with the midterm elections of November 1918.

The Republicans swept to victory in November to capture both houses of Congress.

The new Senate approved the amendment in June 1919 and sent it to the states “after 41 years of debate,” according to the chamber’s official history.

“Woman has shown the same devotion as man to the cause of liberty, and has stood firm at his side in its defense.”

The Senate had rejected the amendment several times over the previous four decades, most recently in October 1918. It then required three-fourths of the 48 states to approve it.

And in the summer of 1920, the opportunity to become the all-important 36th state fell to the Tennessee Convention.

A young Tennessee lawmaker and anti-suffrage activist, Harry T. Burn, 24, reconsidered his position on the issue after receiving a warning from his determined mother.

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“The State Senate voted convincingly to ratify, but the House of Representatives failed twice by two votes, 48 ​​to 48,” notes History.com.

“Just as a third vote was about to begin, Burn received a letter from his mother, Febb Ensminger Burn, which read in part, ‘Hurrah and vote for the franchise and don’t leave them in doubt… I’ve been watching look how you stood, but haven’t seen anything yet… Don’t forget to be a good boy.'”

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), renowned women's rights activist, championed women's right to be heard at the ballot box.

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), renowned women’s rights activist, championed women’s right to be heard at the ballot box.

Burn listened to his mother on the third vote. His “yes” broke the impasse and determined ratification.

The passage of the 19th amendment came just in time to give millions of women the right to vote in the presidential election two months later.

Warren G. Harding, an Ohio Republican, easily defeated fellow Democrat Buckeye James Cox and running mate Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1920 election, winning 37 of 48 states and more than 60 percent of the vote.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, JULY 28TH, THE 14TH AMENDMENT WAS CERTIFIED, ENSURING EQUALITY FOR ALL AMERICANS

The 19th Amendment was passed amid a flurry of constitutional activity after World War I, similar to that after the Civil War when the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th, 15th) were passed immediately after the conflict.

Election postcard featuring an American flag with four stars celebrating Wyoming as the first of four states to grant women full voting rights, supported by the National Woman's Suffrage Association, issued by the Cargill Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1910. Photograph by Emilia van meet

Election postcard featuring an American flag with four stars celebrating Wyoming as the first of four states to grant women full voting rights, supported by the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, issued by the Cargill Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1910. Photograph by Emilia van meet (Ken Florey Suffrage Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

But not all were successful.

The 18th Amendment, ratified just a year before the 19th, banned the sale of alcohol in the United States.

The 20th Amendment in 1933 repealed it.

The 19th Amendment was also part of a worldwide effort by Western nations to grant women the right to vote amid the turmoil of World War I.

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Norway was the first nation to grant women the right to vote in 1913.

At the end of World War I, doors began to open when Great Britain (1918), Germany (1918) and the Netherlands (1919) granted universal female suffrage.

France did not allow women to vote until 1944.

The 19th is among the shortest of changes, its brevity only increasing its necessity.

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“The right to vote of citizens of the United States shall not be denied or restricted by the United States or by any state on the basis of sex,” it says.

“Congress has the authority to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle reporter at Fox News Digital.