With the approaching national centennial in 2020 of the 19th Amendment's ratification, we wanted to make sure that TN was recognized for its pivotal vote. There is a national Votes for Women Trail and we have been identifying sites, markers, monuments, and other items to be showcased. We want heritage tourism for woman suffrage sites. The movement began in New York and culminated with victory in TN. All American women vote today thanks to TN!
We have been hearing from suffragists' descendants and finding more items for the heritage trail. This is a great opportunity for researchers, History Day student competition, Scout troops, feminists, voting rights activists, and anyone who wants to learn more about this rich history.
It has taken far too long for this history to be fully told. When textbooks claim "American women were given the right to vote in 1920," it's as though it were bestowed by a benevolent entity instead of a 72-year struggle which American women won. No one "gave" them anything! We are telling the story through this heritage trail of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. They proved democracy works. We have several new female legislators coming into the TN General Assembly in January and we're asking them to get the state to promote this.
We are seizing the opportunity to promote these important TN sites and individuals who made a difference. We encourage other states to do the same with their suffrage history.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (January 2019)