Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: March 10, 2020 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 4-a <br /> SUBJECT: Proclamation Recognizing the 100th Year Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to <br /> the United States Constitution <br /> DEPARTMENT: Human Rights and Relations <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> Proclamation Commissioner Renee Price, 245-2130 <br /> Annette Moore, (919) 245-2317 <br /> PURPOSE: To approve a proclamation recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment <br /> to the United States Constitution. <br /> BACKGROUND: On June 4, 1919, both chambers of United States Congress approved the 19th <br /> amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed American women the right to <br /> vote. The amendment was ratified into the United States Constitution the following year on August <br /> 18, 1920. <br /> The first reported attempt to introduce women's suffrage legislation in North Carolina was led by a <br /> group from Asheville, the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association ("NCESA"), in 1894. In 1913, <br /> the NCESA, an affiliate of the National American Woman Suffrage Association elected Barbara <br /> Henderson of Chapel Hill as President, who initiated suffrage legislation in 1915 and 1919. <br /> However, the legislation failed to pass. <br /> Once Congress approved the 19th amendment in 1919, 36 states needed to ratify the amendment <br /> in order for it to be included in the United States Constitution. In June 1919, Wisconsin, Illinois and <br /> Michigan were the first to ratify the amendment. Within the following year, 32 additional states <br /> ratified the amendment, with North Carolina or Tennessee poised to become the 36th state. <br /> Southern States were adamantly opposed to the amendment, and seven of them - Alabama, <br /> Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia - rejected it prior to it being <br /> considered by the North Carolina General Assembly. On August 11, after rejecting ratification of <br /> the amendment, a majority of the members of the North Carolina House of Representatives sent a <br /> telegram to their counterparts in Tennessee telling them that they had not ratified the amendment <br /> because it interfered with states' rights and urging the Tennessee legislators to reject ratification <br /> too. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment by a <br /> margin of one vote. North Carolina would not ratify the 19th amendment until May 6, 1971. <br /> If not for Gertrude Weil, and the legions of suffragettes before her, the march toward the women's <br /> right to vote may have stalled again. Weil's organization, the North Carolina Equal Suffrage <br />