36 states were needed to ratify the 19th Amendment,

22 states ratified in 1919

National Woman’s Party activists watch Alice Paul sew a star onto the NWP Ratification Flag

National Photo Co. 1929-1920

Kentucky ratified on January 6

Rhode Island ratified on January 6

Oregon on January 13th

Indiana on January 16

Wyoming on January 27

~ February and March 1920 brought eight more! ~

Nevada ratified on February 7

New Jersey on February 9

Idaho on February 11

Arizona on February 12

New Mexico on February 21

Oklahoma on February 28

West Virginia on March 10th

Washington State on March 22

~ 5 states ratified in January 1920 ~  


On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified by U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.

That November, across America, more than 8 million women voted in elections.

It took over 60 years for the remaining 12 states to ratify the 19th Amendment.

Mississippi was the last to do so, on March 22, 1984.

The nation had to wait until August 18th, 1920 when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify.

Nashville Tennessean, 1920

~ By April, only one more state was neeeded ~

The measure easily won approval in the State Senate and then went to the Tennesse House of Represenatives where the deciding vote was cast by Harry Burn, a 24 year old Represenative from East Tennesse who went into the chamber wearing a red  rose, a sign of his oposition to the ammendment. Those in favor wore yellow roses.

However just before the vote, Harry received a letter from his mother advising him to "be a good boy" and "vote for suffrage".  Harry voted for the ammendment.  After the vote he had to hide in the attic of the capitol building to avoid an angry anti-amendment crowd.

Harry Burn

Febb Burn

The letter

Find the full letter at Teach Tennessee History,   follow the link below

Page one of the seven page letter