Women’s Suffrage in Memphis and Beyond

We celebrate Women’s Equality Day on August 26th to commemorate Colby’s certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, but for many Americans, August 18th was the day that truly mattered. On that day, the state legislature of Tennessee voted in favor of ratifying the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, making Tennessee the pivotal 36th state required to amend the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote across the nation. The close vote was decided when Harry Burn, on the advice of his mother, switched his vote to support ratification, thereby breaking a deadlocked House and passing the resolution.

~Memphis Public Library, “Women’s Suffrage in Memphis and Beyond
Women holding signs reading “Votes For Women” gathered for suffrage parade, possibly the March 29, 1916 parade in downtown Memphis organized by the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Pink Palace Photograph Collection, DIG MEMPHIS, Digital ID PP835.

VOTES FOR WOMEN: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment

The new digital exhibit from the Memphis Public Library provides a virtual tour of the road to the Nineteenth Amendment and according to the site, “highlights the role that Memphians and Tennesseans played in advancing the cause of women’s suffrage and in securing the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Included are newly digitized material from our manuscript collections, like the J.B. Mann Suffrage Collection and the papers of Senator Kenneth D. McKellar. These primary sources bring to life the emotions and experiences of the women’s suffrage movement, and allow you to take a trip into the past.”

Exhibits of VOTES FOR WOMEN:

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