Today marks the 90th anniversary of the first time the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was introduced in Congress. The proposed constitutional amendment asserted that, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
The ERA was drafted in 1923 by well-known women’s rights activist Alice Paul. It was first introduced in Congress on December 13 by Representative Daniel Anthony (R-KS), who was suffragette Susan B. Anthony’s nephew. The debate over the ERA continued for decades, and was reintroduced in every Congress until 1972.
While the ERA ultimately failed, it remains the most popular proposed amendment to the Constitution. About ten percent—over 1,100—of all the amendments introduced in Congress have been for the ERA.
Read more about the ERA debate on Education Updates.
H.J. Res. 75, Proposing an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution (7452156), 12/13/1923, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives