Less than 100 years ago, a great sum of American citizens was denied full participation in the democratic process solely based on their gender. Due to the structure of the U.S. Constitution, voter qualifications were left to the discretion of individual states. A woman could run for a federal elected position, she just couldn’t vote in those elections. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted an amendment that would change the status quo. Proposed in 1878, the “Anthony Amendment” would stay in a Senate committee for nine years before it was considered by the full Senate, which was promptly rejected by a vote of 16 to 34. The struggle over women’s suffrage continued for 3 decades before the constitutional amendment was considered again and rejected in 1914 and 1915. In 1918, it failed by 2 votes in the Senate and by 1 vote in February of 1919. June 4, 1919, The 19th Amendment saw congressional approval and was subsequently ratified by 36 of the 48 states. Once Tennessee ratified the proposed amendment, becoming the last necessary vote for ratification, the Susan B. Anthony Amendment became the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
On September 14, 1920, the first of two special sessions of the Connecticut General Assembly was called by Governor Marcus H. Holcomb after Connecticut Senators Frank Brandegee and George McClean voted against the amendment in the United States Senate. During this session, held just weeks after Tennessee’s deciding vote, Connecticut followed suit, becoming the 37th state to ratify the amendment. It was now legal for women to vote in the state of Connecticut.