Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Women's Equality Day / 19th Amendment: Women's Rights Timeline

Learn about Women's Equality Day on August 26, 2020, and how this date marks the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
image text: How women won the vote 1920-2020 Celebrating the Centennial of Women's Suffrage

Click on this headline to download a copy of How Women Won the Votea special gazette published by the National Women's History Project. 

Wesleyan Chapel, site of the 1848 Women's Rights Convention

Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention, 1848

The Seneca Falls Convention, July 19-20, 1848, is known as the the first American women's rights convention. The convention's goals were to "discuss the social, civil, and religious conditions and rights of women." Organizers included well-known leaders of the women's suffrage movement, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Of the estimated 300 attendees, a large majority were also actively involved in the anti-slavery movement. Read more about the Seneca Falls Convention and the Declaration of Sentiments on the Library of Congress website.

Two women holding holding a NWSA banner, Library of Congress

National Woman Suffrage Association

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in New York City in 1869. The NWSA not only wanted to secure women's voting rights, but also supported more radical reforms that aimed to make women equal members of society. The NWSA merged with the more conservative American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890 to build a single, united front under the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Suffragists parade down fifth avenue in 1917

Women's Suffrage in New York State

During World War I, women's suffrage became linked with the work of the war. Leaders of the movement argued that women were going above and beyond the sacrifices asked of them during war time and thus had earned the right to vote. Toward the end of the war, New York became one of the first states to grant women the right to vote in 1917. 

Gov. Gardner signing resolution ratifying the 19th amendment

19th Amendment Ratified

The amendment was originally introduced in Congress in 1878, but it didn't have national support until 1916. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, with a tie-breaking vote from state representative Harry Burn. He had recently received a letter from his mother "urging him to 'be a good boy' and vote for the amendment."

Women's Equality Day Infographic - timeline and map with facts about the women's rights movement

Women's Equality Day Infographic

Infographic courtesy of National Women's History Alliance; download original