Today in History: Women suffrage amendment ratified

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Re-Imagining the Suffragettes' Fight for Women's Equality


On August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote. The amendment came after more than 70 years of struggle for women suffragists.

Tennessee ultimately ratified the amendment, giving the two-thirds majority of state ratification that is required to make a law.

SEE ALSO: 4,000-year-old tablets found in Turkey mention women's rights

The ratification states: "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." It also says, "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

The beginning of the 20th century came with women having a more prominent role in American society, and the ratification of the 19th amendment was a huge stride in this change.

See the gallery below for photos of women who made history and fought for women's rights:

37 PHOTOS
Women's History Month Portraits
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Today in History: Women suffrage amendment ratified
American writer, educator and advocate for the disabled Helen Keller (1880 - 1968) arriving in Southampton from New York, 2nd March 1950. A childhood illness left Keller blind, deaf and mute. (Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
2nd July 1964: American tennis player Billie Jean Moffitt (later King) in action during a semi final in the women's singles championship at Wimbledon. (Photo by Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Malala Yousafzai speaks during a press conference at the Library of Birmingham after being announced as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, on October 10, 2014 in Birmingham, England. The 17-year-old Pakistani campaigner, who lives in Britain where she received medical treatment following an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with Kailash Satyarthi from India. Chair of the Nobel Committee Thorbjorn Jagland made the announcement in Oslo, commending Malala for her 'heroic struggle' as a spokesperson for girls' rights to education. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Artist Frida Kahlo in the Blue House, Coyoacán, Mexico, ca. 1943. (Photo by Leo Matiz/Leo Matiz Foundation Mexico/Getty Images)
INDIA - OCTOBER 01: The Indian nun MOTHER TERESA (with Albanian-Yugoslavian origins) in Calcutta. The founder of the Charity's Missionnaries dedicated her life to the poor of Calcutta. She had just received the Nobel Peace Prize. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
America contralto Marian Anderson (1897 - 1993) at home. Anderson was the first African-American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)
American artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887 - 1986) poses outdoors beside an easel with a canvas from her series, 'Pelvis Series Red With Yellow,' Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1960. (Photo by Tony Vaccaro/Getty Images)
This photograph released by the Library of Congress and provided by Abrams Books shows Harriet Tubman in a photograph dating from 1860-75. Tubman was born into slavery, but escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, and provided valuable intelligence to Union forces during the Civil War. Experts are hoping that events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will include some measure of remembrance for the black operatives who quietly spied on the Confederacy. (AP Photo/Library of Congress)
American civil rights campaigner, and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King (1927 - 2006) stands behind a podium covered in microphones at Peace-In-Vietnam Rally, Central Park, New York, April 27, 1968. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
FRANCE:Undated picture taken in the 30' s of American female aviator Amelia Earhart beeing at the controls of her plane. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly the Atlantic as a passenger, in 1928, and followed this by a solo flight in 1932. In 1935 she flew solo from Hawan to California. In 1937, with Fred Noonan, they set out to fly round the world, but their plane was lost over the Pacific, 02 July. (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
Photo datant de 1925 du Professeur Marie Curie en train de travailler dans le laboratoire de l'université à Paris. Marie Curie et son mari, le physicien Pierre Curie, ont annoncé il y a 100 ans, le 18 juillet 1898, le découverte du Polonium, avant de recevoir le Prix Nobel de physique en 1903. Picture dated 1925 shows Professor Marie Curie working in the laboratory of Paris university. Marie Curie and her husband, the French physicist Pierre Curie were the discoverers of radium and won the Nobel prize for physics in 1903. Pierre Curie was born in Paris 15 May 1859 and his most important contributions to physics was the discovery that the magnetic properties of substances change at certain temperature, known as the 'Curie point.' (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Jane Addams, American social reformer and feminist (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald (1918 - 1996). (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
ALBERTVILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 10: Speedskater Bonnie Blair of the United States waves from the medal stand after receiving a gold medal during the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics on February 10, 1992 in Albertville, France. (Photo by: Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images)
Meryl Streep, American actress born in Summit, New Jersey, who has starred and acted in many award-winning films. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Susan B. Anthony, women's rights advocate, is shown in this undated photo at an unknown location. Anthony, who was born in 1820 in Adams, Mass., led the fight for women to have the right to vote in the United States in the 19th century. (AP Photo/New York University)
Oprah Winfrey, 1970s. (Photo by Film Favorites/Getty Images)
Undated and unlocated picture of US tennis player Althea Gibson returning a backhand. Gibson won the Roland Garros championships in 1956 and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
circa 1955: US comedienne Lucille Desiree Ball (1910 - 1989). She began working in television in 1951, and starred in such domestic comedies as 'I Love Lucy' (1951 - 1955). She later became a production executive. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
American lawyer Sandra Day O'Connor testifying at a judicial hearing, September 1981. O'Connor was appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court the previous July and was the first woman to hold the position. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925 - 2013) giving a speech 22nd May 1980. (Photo by Mike Lawn/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
PRINCETON, : U.S. author Toni Morrison smiles in her office at Princeton University in New Jersey, while being interviewed by reporters 07 October 1993. Morrison said 'I am outrageously happy' after hearing that she had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
circa 1925: Portrait of American-born singer and dancer Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975) lying on a tiger rug in a silk evening gown and diamond earrings. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
US Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks at a press conference with thirteen military officers who endorsed Clinton, in Washington DC on March 6, 2008. Democrats groped Thursday for ways to avert all-out conflict at their presidential convention in August, as a war of words escalated between the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The 15 year old Joan Hughes is the youngest flight pilot in England. Loughton Aerodrome. 1933. Photograph. (Photo by Austrian Archives/Imagno/Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 24: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet, walks through the garage area prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
6th December 1962: American author Pearl S. Buck testifies before the Senate subcommittee on new uses for Ellis Island, New York City, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Neal Boenzi/New York Times Co./Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 17: Rep. Shirley Chisholm at press conference as she endorsed Howard Samuels for Governor in 1970. (Photo by Evelyn Straus/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Jacqueline Cochran stands in front of the Canadian-built F-86 Sabre jet, in which she became the first woman to break the sound barrier, at Edwards Air Force Base, Ca., May 19, 1953. Cochran made history on May 18, flying at a speed of 625.5 miles per hour. (AP Photo)
Suffragist Alice Paul 1917 (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
US athlete Wilma Rudolph shows the gold medal she won at the Women's 100 meters Summer Olympic Games sprint event on September 2, 1960 in Rome, Italy. (AP Photo)
An official White House portrait of First Lady Betty Ford, wife of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, 1974. (Photo by Consolidated News Pictures/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
1946: Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962) American author, lecturer, ambassador, social activist and wife of the 32nd President Franklin D Roosevelt. A representative to the United Nations, she is listening through headphones during a conference at the temporary UN headquarters at Lake Success, New York. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 24: Madonna performs on stage at Feijenoord Stadium on July 24 1990 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Rosa Parks Mug Shot 1955 (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
Jackie Joyner-Kersee pushes across the finish line at a track event. (Tony Duffy via Getty Images)
Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon, speaks at a special event as AOL, PBS and Simple celebrate MAKERS, on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, in Brighton, Mass. (Photo by Aynsley Floyd/Invision for AOL and PBS/AP Images)
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