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In Indiana, at the constitutional convention, Robert Dale Owen of Posey County proposes that married women have the right to own and control property. It does not pass.
Indiana organizes the first statewide Woman’s Rights Association in Dublin. It’s widely considered one of the first state-level suffrage organizations.
When former slave Sojourner Truth speaks in northern Indiana, opponents call her an imposter and demand that she bare her breast to prove she is a woman, which she does not.
In Indiana, Dr. Mary F. Thomas, a Richmond physician, becomes the first woman allowed to speak before the Indiana state legislature.
The Indiana Woman’s Rights Association begins meeting again, the first year that historians can document that African American women attended Indiana women’s suffrage meetings.
The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, providing suffrage to all men regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Women are not included.
A Woman Suffrage Amendment is proposed in the U.S. Congress. When the 19th Amendment passes 41 years later, it is worded exactly the same as this 1878 proposal.
Indiana legislators approve an amendment granting Hoosier women the right to vote. Suffragists wait until the General Assembly convenes again in 1883 for final approval.
When the General Assembly reconvenes in 1883, the 1881 amendment is nowhere to be found in the legislative record. Thus it cannot be voted on and the amendment fails.
Susan B. Anthony asks a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly to request a women’s suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Hoosier African American suffragists meet at Madam CJ Walker’s house to form their own suffrage organization.
The Indiana legislature enacts three separate laws to give women the vote, but two are declared unconstitutional by the Indiana Supreme Court. Hundreds of thousands of women’s new voter registrations are thrown out.
President Woodrow Wilson states his support for a federal women’s suffrage amendment. The amendment passes the U.S. House of Representatives.
The 19th Amendment proposal passes the U.S. Senate and the ratification process begins.
Indiana ratifies the 19th Amendment on January 26; in August, enough states have ratified it that it becomes law—72 years after it was first called for at Seneca Falls.
Virginia Jenckes of Terre Haute is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives—the first woman to represent the state of Indiana in Congress.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 passes, declaring that no one can be denied the right or ability to vote based on race.
Title IX, championed by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, passes. It bars gender discrimination in educational settings under penalty of denying federal assistance. It paves the way, among other things, for a surge in women’s athletics.
Indiana becomes the 35th and last state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on January 18, barely squeaking through the state senate after Senator Wayne Townsend is influenced to change his vote. But the ERA never becomes law, because no additional states ratify it.
Image: First women’s rights convention: Indiana Historical Bureau
Image: Sojourner Truth from National Women’s History Museum
Image: Dr. Mary F. Thomas from Morrisson-Reeves Library
Image: From www.History.com
Image: Image: Madam C.J. Walker. Madam C.J. Walker Collection, Indiana Historical Society.
Image: Virginia Jenckes photo from Library of Congress
Image: President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., Clarence Mitchell, and Patricia Roberts Harris
from Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library.
Image: Senatorial Papers of Birch Bayh, Indiana University