“The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America, the guarantee of your liberty. That vote of yours has cost millions of dollars and the lives of thousands of women. Women have suffered agony of the soul which you can never comprehend, that you and your daughters might inherit political freedom. That vote has been costly. Prize it!”
— Carrie Chapman Catt, 1920
The Nineteenth Amendment was a major milestone in the struggle for voting rights, but the movement didn’t end there. Read on to learn more about the suffragists who committed themselves to fighting for a more perfect union and explore how we can honor their legacy by participating more fully in our democracy.
“It is incredible to me that any woman should consider the fight for full equality won. It has just begun.”Alice Paul, September 10, 1920.
The new exhibition, To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote, is currently on display in the History Department, on the 4th Floor of Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. Created for the Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial by the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives, To Make Our Voices Heard explores the history of the woman’s suffrage movement, Tennessee’s dramatic vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in August 1920, and the legacy that followed. To see a sneak peak, click HERE.
August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. On this day, we celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote. This year, 2020, is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. “Black Women and the Ballot” will discuss the role Black women played in the early suffrage movement and their continued fight well beyond 1920 to present calls to empower their voices and votes. Click HERE to view a recording of the program on our YouTube Channel.
Memphis Public Libraries has pulled together voting information in the hopes of creating a clearer picture of just who we vote for and when we vote for them. To learn more about voter registration, upcoming elections, and candidates, visit our Informed Voter page.
Born out of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the League of Women Voters remains relevant today. The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public.
women’s suffrage movement
To see more of our suffrage material, visit the DIG MEMPHIS Digital Archive. As more items are digitized, we’ll upload them to the Women’s Suffrage Mini-Collection, a new feature of The M Files.
Curated by librarians in the History Department on the 4th floor of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, this list includes titles for those interested in reading more about the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
This collection from the Tennessee Virtual Archive focuses on pro- and anti-suffrage activity in Tennessee in 1920, primarily drawing from the papers of suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, anti-suffragist Josephine A. Pearson, and Governor Albert H. Roberts.
The online Tennessee Encyclopedia has compiled a list of biographies and articles covering key figures in the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Tennessee.
The National Women’s History Museum, has put together a collection of online resources including primary sources, education resources, and an interactive timeline of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
An online exhibit from the Library of Congress, Shall Not be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote tells the collective national story of the courage, perseverance, savvy, creativity, and hope that continues to inspire women today.
Both a physical and virtual exhibit from the National Archives Museum, Rightfully Hers highlights the relentless struggle of diverse activists throughout U.S. history to secure voting rights for all American women.
The Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, a collaboration of women-centered institutions, organizations, and scholars from across the US, works to ensure that this anniversary, and the 72-year fight to achieve it, are commemorated and celebrated throughout the United States.
The Digital Public Library of America, has put together a Primary Source Set for educators (and others) including photos, advertisements, maps, and other documents that shed light on the struggle toward the Nineteenth Amendment..