State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) was a proud Chief Co-Sponsor this year of HR 96, which recognizes Illinois as a proud leader in the story of women’s suffrage in the United States, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification in Illinois on June 10.
“The 19th amendment forbids the states or the federal government from denying a person the right to vote on the basis of sex. This momentous act opened the door for women to vote for all offices,” said Wehrli. “HR 96 commemorates granting women the right to vote with special attention to Illinois’ proud place in the effort. Illinois is home to storied women’s right advocates and suffragists like Jane Addams, Frances Willard, and Ruth Hanna McCormick.”
In 1913, Illinois became the first state east of the Mississippi to grant women the right to vote. When Congress proposed the 19th Amendment in 1919, it was sponsored by Illinois Republican Congressman James Mann. Thanks to the efforts of Ruth Hanna McCormick and Grace Wilbour Trout, Illinois was ready when it was sent to the states on June 4th and on June 10th Illinois became the first state to ratify it. With the help of activists, such as Addams and Trout, and political figures, such as McCormick, the 19th Amendment was ratified nationwide in less than eighteen months.
After the approval of HR 96 earlier this year, copies of the resolution were presented to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, the Frances Willard House Museum and Archives in Evanston, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation/Cantigny Park in Wheaton.