For the first one-hundred and forty-four years of America’s existence, women were not allowed to vote. In 1920, ninety-nine years ago this summer, women finally won the right to vote in the United States via ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That was a really long wait!
Our history classes teach us about Susan B. Anthony’s role in leading the fight for women’s suffrage. What you might not know is that Anthony began her quest in the 1850’s, almost seventy years before the Nineteenth Amendment. Susan B. Anthony died in 1906, long before women won the vote. It was another extraordinary but lesser-known woman who picked up the mantle and led the movement during those last fourteen years. Carrie Chapman Catt, who grew up in my hometown of Charles City, Iowa, leveraged her tenacity, charm, and courage to execute a strategy that ultimately gave women the right to make their voices heard in American politics.
The Iowa-girl spent that hot summer of 1920 in Tennessee, which was the final battleground state. The Volunteer State was their last chance for victory. Failure to pass the legislature in Tennessee would have killed the Nineteenth Amendment, but Catt and company worked tirelessly and won the day. Tennessee ratified, and women finally had the vote. That’s your history lesson for today!
Earlier this week I had the honor to present the 2019 HME Woman of the Year Award to Wendy Russalesi, the Chief Compliance Officer at AdaptHealth. We at VGM created the HME Woman of the Year Program four years ago to recognize the incredibly important role women play in our industry. Like the right to vote, better late than never. We’re extremely proud of the program and the amazing women who have been finalists and award winners. Congratulations to Wendy!
You can learn more about Wendy, the award, and the other impressive finalists at https://www.vgm.com/HMEWomanOfTheYear.