Women first organized and collectively fought for suffrage at the national level in July of 1848. Suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott convened a meeting of over 300 people in Seneca Falls, New York. In the following decades, women marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would recognize their suffrage rights. This amendment became known as the 19th Amendment.
After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally voted in favor of the 19th Amendment in 1919. After Congress passed the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of it for it to become law.
On January 6, 1920, Kentucky voted in favor of the Nineteenth Amendment. Approximately six months later, on August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment, recognizing women’s suffrage rights.
Kentucky Places of Women’s Suffrage: Shelby County Courthouse
The British women’s suffrage movement of the late nineteenth century influenced the suffrage movement in America. To support their American sisters, British suffragists would sometimes tour America giving lectures. Ethel Snowden was one suffragist who made the journey to America to promote universal suffrage for women. She gave a speech at the Shelby County Courthouse on November 7, 1915. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Last updated: August 1, 2019