Women's Right to Vote started August 18, 1920: Song of the Day with Dolly Parton
The second paragraph of the U.S. Constitution says all men are created equal. It wasn’t until August 18, 1920 when when Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment and females finally got the right to vote.
Passing the amendment through Congress wasn’t easy. The amendment failed by two votes in the Senate in 1918. The next year, the Senate had a change of heart and it passed by two votes.
Thirty-five states ratified the amendment, but it needed one more state for it to become law. Southern states were stubbornly against it. So, where would it come from?
Tennessee. State Rep. Harry T. Burn was against the amendment, but he voted yes because his mother asked him to.
The amendment passed after a 70-year fight, sometime within the women’s rights movement. The National Woman Suffrage Association was against the 15th Amendment which allowed African-American men to vote. The association thought it should include women too.
Instead, they thought the best strategy was to lobby states to include the women’s right to vote in their constitutions.
Dolly Parton wrote the Song of the Day in 2019 for “27: The Most Perfect Album.” The compilation album, includes songs from various artists about each of the 27 amendments.
Parton chose the nineteenth. She told Showbiz Cheatsheet: “I said, let me write about a woman’s right to vote, but in my own way.’ I wrote it tongue-in-cheek and clever, but still making a point."
You can learn more about the More Perfect Album at the More Perfect podcast from our friends at Radiolab and WNYC Studios.
Song of hte Day is a co-production of WGCU Public Media and Sheldon Zoldan, former editor of The News-Press.
Audio edited by Simon Dunham.
Copyright 2023 WGCU