100th Anniversary Honors Women’s Right to Vote in New Jersey

19th amendment - Mr. Local History Project
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In recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the U.S., and the ratification of the 19th amendment guaranteeing all American women the right to vote, the Mr Local History project recognizes this great accomplishment in American History.

The U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment guaranteeing all American women the right to vote in June 4, 1919, and the resolution states on Feb. 9, 1920, New Jersey became the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

Many don’t know that the 19th amendment was actually written by Susan B. Anthony in 1875 but wasn’t ratified until 1925. Women over the age of 21 were permitted to vote.

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

19th Amendment

It wasn’t until the November 1920 elections when women actually exercised their new constitutional right. It then wasn’t until February 12, 1920 that you saw the formation of the League of Women Voters, an organization that still exists today.

In the 1920 edition of the Bernardsville News was an interesting quote:

“… on August 28 (1920) the 19th amendment was written in our constitution and women have been enfranchised and allowed to take their proper place and stand shoulder to shoulder in the battle of life by the side of man. In thinking of your childhood home what is the first thought that comes to you? Mother. It makes no difference what kind of mother we had, she was the center or pivot around which everything else revolves.”

The address was given by the WCTU County President Mr. L. Height at a September 24, 1920 meeting in Pluckemin, New Jersey .
Here was one of the first votes for Somerset Hills women back in 1920 as part of a state and national election. Source: Bernardsville News

The 1920 Presidential Election –
Women Share the Glory (as well as any blame)

The United States presidential election of 1920 was dominated by the aftermath of World War I and the hostile reaction to Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president. The wartime boom had collapsed. Politicians were arguing over peace treaties and the question of America’s entry into the League of Nations. Overseas there were wars and revolutions. At home, 1919 was marked by major strikes in meatpacking and steel, and large race riots in Chicago and other cities. Terrorist attacks on Wall Street produced fears of radicals and terrorists.

Outgoing President Wilson had become increasingly unpopular, and following his severe stroke in 1919 could no longer speak on his own behalf. The economy was in a recession, the public was weary of war and reform, the Irish Catholic and German communities were outraged at his policies, and his sponsorship of the League of Nations produced an isolationist reaction.

The 1920 Presidential Map – Source: 270 Town
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Harding died on August 2, 1923, replaced by Calvin Coolidge
  • 19th Amendment ratified in this cycle: Women are allowed to vote
  • Harding first to receive more than ten million popular votes
  • Issues of the Day: League of Nations, Prohibition, Women’s Right to Vote (Suffrage)

Additional Information

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