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Heeding mom, Tennessee lawmaker helped women gain the vote

19th Amendment Tennessee Role
Carrie Chapman Catt, Alfred E. Smith, Al Smith
19th Amendment Tennessee Role
Posted at 3:56 PM, Aug 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-15 15:56:40-04

One hundred years ago this month, women throughout the United States were guaranteed the right to vote with ratification of the 19th Amendment — secured by a 24-year-old Tennessee legislator’s decisive vote, cast at the bidding of his mother.

Harry T. Burn’s surprise move set the stage for decades of slow but steady advances for American women in electoral politics.

Two years ago, a record number of women were elected to Congress.

On Tuesday, Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Tennessee was the decisive 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment in 1920.

Carrie Chapman Catt, Alfred E. Smith, Al Smith
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 1920 file photo, New York Gov. Alfred E. Smith, welcomes Carrie Chapman Catt, women's suffrage leader, on her return from Tennessee, the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, in New York. Catt carries a bouquet of blue and yellow flowers, colors of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association. (AP Photo)