Today is International Women’s Day which is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of woman past, present and future. It honors the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be resolved.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
We appear before you this morning…to ask that you will, at your earliest convenience, report to the House in favor of the submission of a Sixteenth Amendment to the Legislatures of the several States, that shall prohibit the disfranchisement of citizens of the United States on account of sex.
—Susan B. Anthony, March 8, 1884
On March 8, 1884 renowned suffragette, Susan B. Anthony appeared before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives to argue for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Believe it or not, her argument came sixteen years after legislators had first introduced a federal woman’s suffrage amendment.
The National Woman Suffrage Association were holding their sixteen annual convention in Washington D.C. On the last day, March 7, 1884, Anthony went before the Senate Select Committee on Woman Suffrage and remarked:
This is the sixteenth year that we have come before Congress in person, and the nineteenth by petitions. Ever since the war, from the winter of 1865-’66, we have regularly sent up petitions asking for the national protection of the citizen’s right to vote when the citizen happens to be a woman. We are here again for the same purpose.
— Susan B. Anthony, March 7, 1884
It would take many more years of arguing before the suffrage amendment was passed. On June 4, 1919, Congress approved the amendment. Nicknamed the “Anthony Amendment” in honor of its leader, the Nineteen Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920. Susan B. Antony had died in 1906.
Source: The Library of Congress, American Memory, Today in History, March 8.