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36 1920 Texas Suffrage Ratification Proclamation On August 25, 1920, Governor William P. Hobby signed the Texas Suffrage Ratification Proclamation and designated September 4 a state holiday. He recommended that, "all the people suspend their labors on that day and honor the indomitable spirit of American womanhood/' On August 26,1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. It reads as follows: 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. DOCUMENT* SUFFRAGE RATIFICATION PROCLAMATION BY W. P. HOBBY, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS THOSE who have championed woman's rights to be the partner of man in every respect, have waged a long and strenuous fight to bring about complete political equality among women. Ratification by threefourths of the States has at last brought a realization of their dreams and hopes and ambitions. Action of the Legislature of Tennessee, the thirty-sixth State to ratify, has been certified to the Secretary of State at Washington, who has promulgated the nineteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, making the same immediately effective. Through the loyal and valiant efforts of those who have labored to break down the barriers against woman's participation in political affairs , an overwhelming public sentiment has been built up, which has gathered force and momentum from day to day, until the final victory they have now won marks an epoch and turning point in the history of this nation. Not only has the right to vote and hold office been gained for women but cleaner politics and a higher plane of political purity has *From: W. P. Hobby, Suffrage Ratification Proclamation (Austin, 1920), Barker Texas History Center, The University of Texas at Austin. 196 DOCUMENTS 197 been brought about, for the gradual elevation of woman to political equality has been essentially the elevation and purification of the ballot and of the whole field of politics. Even before the submission of the nineteenth amendment to the various states of the Union, it was my privilege in behalf of the State of Texas to approve the act which for the first time conferred upon women citizens all privileges of participation in party affairs, thus giving women practical political equality in this State, and Texas, blending the progressiveness of the West, with the Chivalry of the South, was the first Southern State to ratify the Susan B. Anthony amendment to the Federal Constitution. It is but just, therefore, to claim for Texas the credit for leading the way and making it possible for seventeen million women to vote in the general election of Nineteen Twenty, and to cast their first ballot at a crucial time in the nation's career, when progressive, vital democracy is measuring strength with conservative, reactionary forces, to determine whether the nation will take its place of leadership among all the nations, won through the combined efforts of its men and women in a world war, and to determine whether humanity and human life shall be placed above political expediency. It is gratifying to Texans that the action of this State was followed by Tennessee, whose history is entwined with that of Texas at both the Alamo and San Jacinto, and whose ratification was the final chapter in suffrage's long record of glorious progress. The tremendous significance of this achievement, affecting as it does the political status of half the people of the nation, and promoting the political well-being of all the people of the nation, at once taxes our imagination with its magnitude, and makes our hearts rejoice with its roseate promise for the future. It is appropriate and proper that we pause and give expression to our deep gratitude, for it is impossible to conceive a more far-reaching achievement or to estimate its outstanding influence upon the future progress of the human race. Suffrage for women signifies the solution of problems, not the multiplication of them. THEREFORE, in celebration of this great forward step, I, W. P. Hobby, Governor of the State of Texas, do proclaim that Saturday, September fourth, nineteen twenty, shall be a holiday in the State of Texas, and recommend that all people suspend their labors on that day and honor the indomitable spirit of American womanhood. As a tribute to those who have made this victory possible, and 198 CITIZENS AT...


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