Primary Documents - U.S. 19th Amendment: Women's Right to Vote, 18 August 1920

Photograph of the U.S. 19th Amendment.  Click to enlarge. Agitation in favour of granting American women the right to vote, already active in the pre-war years, gathered pace during the nation's involvement in World War One as many women necessarily took up employment for the first time.  Public meetings would be regularly placarded by women's suffrage campaigners, and demands made of "Kaiser Wilson" to rapidly bring forward the necessary amendment to the U.S. constitution.

Thus on 18 August 1920 (albeit after President Wilson had left office) the 19th Amendment was ratified by Congress.  The text of the amendment is reproduced below.

Click here to view a larger photograph of the 19th Amendment (opens in new window).

Sixty-sixth Congress of the United States of America;

At the First Session,

Begun and held at the City of Washington, on Monday, the nineteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen.


Proposing an amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States.

Article ____________

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.

(SIGNED) F.H. Gillett, Speaker of the House of Representatives

(SIGNED) Thos R. Marshall., Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate

In slang a "beetle" was a landing craft for 200 men.

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