Online Collection Details Tennessee's Role in Granting Women Voting Rights

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nearly 100 years ago, Tennessee played a pivotal role in granting women across the country the right to vote. Now the Tennessee State Library & Archives has a new online collection that highlights that watershed moment in the nation's history, titled "Women's Suffrage: Tennessee and the Passage of the 19th Amendment."

In 1920, after a debate that had raged for years, 35 of 48 states then in the Union had ratified the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would give women the right to vote. One more state's approval was needed in order to meet the requirement that three-fourths of the states supported the measure.

Eight states had rejected the amendment and five had not yet voted on it. Tennessee was seen as the best chance of getting the amendment approved before the 1920 presidential election. At a special session called in August of that year, the amendment was quickly approved by the state Senate but then faced stiffer opposition in the House of Representatives. Harry T. Burn, a young House member who initially opposed the amendment, changed his vote - reportedly after being lobbied by his mother - and broke a tie that ensured the passage of a law guaranteeing half the country's population a fundamental right.

"Speaking as a son and a husband, Tennessee's vote to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was surely one of our state's finest moments," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This online collection will make these important historical documents readily available even for people who can't visit the Library & Archives building and inspect them in person. This access is part of our mission to make more of state government available to everyone." 

This online collection about the suffrage movement, drawn from the many documents and photographs stored at Library & Archives, includes papers from prominent pro-suffrage lobbyist Carrie Chapman Catt, anti-suffrage lobbyist Josephine A. Pearson and Governor Albert H. Roberts, as well as letters, telegrams, political cartoons, broadsides, photographs and three audio clips. In all, the online collection already has more than 100 items and more will be added as the 100th anniversary of the suffrage vote approaches.

To view the collection online, go to: http://bit.ly/TNwomensuffrage


Some Rare Photos That Luther Gave Earl

McClung Museum Director To Retire

4 Tennessee Sites Added To National Register Of Historic Places


Before WDEF Radio moved from 3300 Broad to 2615 S. Broad St., Luther called me into his office. He was cleaning out his desk and ran across some rare pictures. Before the days of WDEF FM and ... (click for more)

Jeff Chapman, director of UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, will retire at the end of the 2019 spring semester after 29 years as the museum’s director. Under Mr. Chapman’s ... (click for more)

The Tennessee Historical Commission today announced the addition of four properties to the National Register of Historic Places. They include a 20th century school, a 19th century church and ... (click for more)


Memories

Some Rare Photos That Luther Gave Earl

Before WDEF Radio moved from 3300 Broad to 2615 S. Broad St., Luther called me into his office. He was cleaning out his desk and ran across some rare pictures. Before the days of WDEF FM and WDEF TV. Luther broadcast on WDEF AM 1370. He said the station worked with the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club to host a Christmas Party at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium. Thousands ... (click for more)

McClung Museum Director To Retire

Jeff Chapman, director of UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, will retire at the end of the 2019 spring semester after 29 years as the museum’s director. Under Mr. Chapman’s leadership, the McClung Museum has established itself as central to research, teaching and interdisciplinary programming at UT, officials said. The only museum on the university’s campus, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Warning Issued For Icy Roads As Temperatures Drop; Hamilton County Schools On 2-Hour Delays; Others Open Late

With a warning issued about icy roads as temperatures drop well below freezing into Tuesday, the Hamilton County Schools and other schools delayed school start times. Hamilton County Schools will open on a two-hour delay again on Tuesday due to a possibility of black ice on the roads in the morning. Rain during the day could freeze overnight as temperatures drop. Buses will ... (click for more)

Popular Young Reporter For NewsChannel 9 Terminated By Sinclair As She Battles Cancer

A popular young reporter for NewsChannel 9 has been terminated by Sinclair Broadcasting as she battles cancer. Alex George wrote on her Twitter account on Friday, " Hi all, I want to clarify for those who asked. I want to assure you that treatment is going incredibly well. The decision was not made by me it was @WeAreSinclair . They terminated my contract." The 22-year-old ... (click for more)

Opinion

TVA Land Grab

The Georgetown land grab is just ‘Business as Usual’ for TVA. For the past 80 years they’ve shown their stripes in this matter - 170,000 acres seized at LBL, countless acreage taken in the Tennessee River Valley. Land taken for coal and nuclear sites. All by the same play book. All from average people. We want this, you have this, we get this. I worked with TVA as a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: USA Today Is Wrong

After spending half of a century in the newspaper business, you will find it universal that one’s “personal ethics” demand you leave children off the news page. You don’t interview an 11-year-old who just watched her house burn down and now can’t find her kitty. You don’t take a kid’s picture at his daddy’s trial and, more than anything, never publish a word that would cause a child ... (click for more)