On June 10, 1919, Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. The victory came as a surprise after countless setbacks faced by Wisconsin suffragettes.
By the late 1800s, suffragette victories included the right to run for school boards and vote in “school matters.” Women argued that school matters should include public office, but were denied. Plus, because women’s suffrage was associated with temperance, Wisconsin’s German-Americans vigorously opposed it. In 1913, a failed referendum eliminated women’s hard-fought school board positions.
But through persistence, women finally won the vote in 1919.
– Chris Butsch, The 100 Companies