Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on June 4, 1919, and it was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. This amendment gave American women the right to vote and capped years of efforts by suffragists who had campaigned for this right.
Since the mid-1800s, protests, petitions, speeches, articles and even court cases had called for giving women the right to vote, but by the time that right was secured, most of its early proponents were no longer living. Prior to the amendment, several states had already adopted suffragist legislation. In 1918, President Wilson voiced support for an amendment. Congress responded in 1919, and on Aug. 18, 1920, the necessary number of states had ratified the amendment.