On August 20, 1920, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women the right to vote. This guide provides access to materials related to the “19th Amendment” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certifies the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920, giving women the Constitutional right to vote. First proposed in Congress in 1878, the amendment did not pass the House and Senate until 1919. It takes another fifteen months before it is ratified by three-fourths of the states (thirty-six in total at the time) and finally becomes law in 1920. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Wyoming enters the union with its suffrage laws intact, becoming the first state to allow women to vote.
Jeannette Rankin is elected as a Representative for Montana, becoming the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Women picketing for suffrage in front of the White House are arrested in August and November. Some are sent to prison.
The House of Representatives passes a resolution for a woman suffrage amendment. The resolution is defeated in the Senate.
The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which gives women the right to vote, is adopted by a joint resolution in Congress.
August 26, 1920
After Tennessee becomes the thirty-sixth state to ratify the 19th Amendment, the Amendment is officially adopted and women are given the right to vote.