Law Day is THIS Friday, May 1st. Every year the American Bar Association designates May 1st as Law Day, a day to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. This year’s Law Day theme is, “Your Vote, Your Voice, Your Democracy: the 19th Amendment at 100.” This year is the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment.
The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18th, 1920, and guaranteed the right of citizens to vote, regardless of sex. This is also known as women’s suffrage. Originally introduced to Congress in 1878, the amendment failed until it was finally passed by the House of Representatives on May 21st, 1919. The Senate passed the amendment on June 4th of the same year, and it was submitted to the states. Finally, on August 18th, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it, and the Nineteenth Amendment was adopted.
And, although the news is dominated currently by news of the COVID-19 crisis, we must remember that this is an election year which demonstrates the effects of the Nineteenth Amendment echo through to today.
Even though we cannot celebrate Law Day with our usual festivities due to COVID-19, the Library of Congress and the American Bar Association have created a virtual panel discussion, “Social Movement Changing America: The Legacies of the 19th Amendment,” on April 30, at 12:30 PM. You can register online for this free one hour program here. If you are feeling creative, the ABA is hosting a Law Day Art Contest, where participants can create an art piece inspired by this year’s theme, “Your Vote, Your Voice, Your Democracy.”