This past August was the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment, which guarantees American women the right to vote. The struggle was long, beginning in the mid 19th-century. Woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied and practiced civil disobedience to achieve this feat. The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. By 1912, nine western states had adopted woman suffrage legislation. Tennessee became the 36th state to adopt and ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920.
The vote was extended only to white women. African Americans and other groups, including Native Americans, continued to be excluded from the vote. This included Asian American immigrants, who were long ineligible for naturalized citizenship on account of race, and only won the vote starting in 1943. Native Americans were not made US Citizens until 1924. Non-white women were not guaranteed the right to vote until passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
As part of recent AppleFest in Westfield (in October, 2020), women were given the opportunity to be photographed with Susan B. Anthony. Anthony worked tirelessly her whole adult life fighting for the right to vote. She spoke publicly, petitioned Congress and state legislatures, and published a feminist newspaper for a cause that would not come to fruition until ratification of the 19th amendment, 14 years after her death in 1906.