Women’s Right to Vote Came Down to One Man Who Listened to His Mother

It’s been 90 years since women got the vote, and the turning point to passing the Nineteenth Amendment came on August 18th in Tennessee when Harry Burn, wearing a red rose signifying a “no” vote, changed to the yellow rose side to cast the deciding vote passing the resolution.

The Nineteenth Amendment and the War of Roses

Gail Collins offers a reference to Harry Burn in the New York Times …

in My Favorite August

Suddenly, Harry Burn, the youngest member of the House, a 24-year-old “no” vote from East Tennessee, got up and announced that he had received a letter from his mother telling him to “be a good boy and help (suffragist) Mrs. Catt.”

“I know that a mother’s advice is always the safest for a boy to follow,” Burn said, switching sides.

We should all wish for children to follow “mother’s advice.”

Need a book to commemorate?  Read Kate Walbert’s tale in A Short History of Women,

reviewed here