On Thursday, the Indiana General Assembly marked the 100th Anniversary of Indiana’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
During Thursday’s Senate session, Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) had the following to say:
“100 years ago today, in these chambers, we passed our right to vote. It only took two months for Hoosiers to send the first woman to the General Assembly. It was Julie Nelson, who was elected to represent Delaware County in the Indiana House of Representatives in November of 1920. Despite her accomplishments, The Muncie Evening Press announced that, in addition to being able to do all her other jobs, ‘she could still get dinner ready on time.’
“Since Nelson, there has been at least one woman in the General Assembly every session, and in 1932 Virginia Jenckes was the first woman elected to the US House of Representatives from Indiana. We’ve had four women serve as Lieutenant Governor and a great number of others including our current Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, Education Superintendent Jennifer McCormick, Auditor Tera Klutz, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and our Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush.
“It is important to note that the 19th Amendment only allowed white women to vote. Indiana, like the rest of the country, did not allow African Americans the right to vote until the 1960s.
“We’re still fighting today for equality on other things, including equal pay and the ability to make our own decisions on a host of other topics.
“As Hoosier women enter the next 100 years, I’m looking forward to some other new firsts: The first woman Governor, the first woman elected to the United States Senate and the first General Assembly whose members are more than 51% female.
“We are looking forward to the future.”