STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
By the way, this month marks a milestone for American women and for the country at large. It was 90 years ago this month that Americans ratified the 19th amendment to the Constitution. It gave women the right to vote.
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
In August 1920, the amendment had made it through Congress and most of the states, and then it was up to the state of Tennessee.
INSKEEP: The state House of Representatives was deadlocked, and the vote depended on the decision of one man. He was a 24-year-old legislator named Harry Burn.
MONTAGNE: He was thought to be opposed to ratification, but on that day in August 1920, he carried a letter from his mother in his pocket.
INSKEEP: He later explained his vote by saying: I know that a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification.
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