A version of the 19th Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. By 1912, nine western states adopted the legislation before it was ratified in 1920.
Between 1920 and 1965, most black women still faced barriers to voting depending on age, where they lived, even if she could read or write. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that all women earned the right to vote.
Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States.
We spoke to a woman who was born before American women had the right to vote. She says women have become stronger through time. Gone are the days when women were housewives and raised the kids. Now, they compete with men for jobs and political office.
Ruth Anderson believes voting helped make all of the above a reality.
“I’m 102, but I still have all my marbles,” Anderson said.
Born in 1918, Anderson has seen it all. She went to college in the 1930s, then went to work.
I went to MIT, and I’ve worked with computers all my life,” Anderson said.
Anderson was part of a research team that developed radar. Working among men, she became an advocate for women.
Anderson remembers the first time she got to vote.
“Oh, I do, very exciting,” Anderson said.
Tuesday’s election day holds a special place in her heart, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
“I always remember going to downtown Boston, newspaper row and watching the newspaper put up the results of the elections,” Anderson said.
Now, those results include women. There are 126 women in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S Senate and a black woman on the Democratic presidential ticket in 2020.
“Get involved in politics,” Anderson said. “Read, read the news, know what’s going on with the government, and be sure to vote.”