WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined her fellow female Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee requesting that the Committee recommend a stamp in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
“We write today to ask that the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee recommend a stamp to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” wrote the Senators. “A stamp to memorialize this iconic amendment would highlight the culmination of decades of work done by suffragists as they sought to gain the right to vote in our country.”
Read the full text of the letter below:
Dear Committee Members:
We write today to ask that the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee recommend a stamp to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A stamp to memorialize this iconic amendment would highlight the culmination of decades of work done by suffragists as they sought to gain the right to vote in our country.
Beginning at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, suffragists and women’s rights activists demanded women’s universal access to the ballot through a constitutional amendment. The first women’s suffrage amendment was proposed to the United States Congress in 1878. Nine years later, a vote to grant women suffrage was defeated in the U.S. Senate. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where, two years later, she began debate on the suffrage amendment, which passed the chamber. Finally, in 1919, the 19th Amendment passed through both the House and the Senate, and the process of ratification was underway.
By August 1920, 35 states had ratified the 19th Amendment, and women’s right to vote was one state short of the 36 needed for full ratification. All eyes were on Nashville, Tennessee, as members of the General Assembly gathered to cast their vote on the 19th Amendment. Legislators voting in support of women’s suffrage wore yellow roses on their lapels, while those voting against wore red roses. The decisive vote was cast by the youngest member of the legislature, 24-year-old Harry Burn, who had intended to vote against women’s suffrage, until, on the morning of the vote, he received a letter from his mother urging him to “be a good boy” and vote for ratification. With a vote of 50-47, Tennessee became the 36th and final state to ratify the 19th Amendment, and on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution, forever guaranteeing American women the right to vote.
As we approach the centennial of this landmark achievement, the creation of a commemorative stamp featuring a yellow rose and acknowledging the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment would honor the leadership and advocacy of the generations of brave and brilliant suffragists who fought tirelessly for the equal right to vote.
Thank you for your consideration of our request that a 19th Amendment commemorative stamp be issued. We look forward to working with you.