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Posted on: August 2, 2022

Wilson County Courthouse Presents Women's Suffrage Exhibit

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The Wilson County Courthouse is proud to present To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote, a traveling exhibition, on display August 16-23, 2022 in celebration of 102 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment. With election day coming up on August 4th, this makes the commemoration of the 19th Amendment’s ratification even more significant. The exhibition, created in partnership with the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives, explores the history of the women’s suffrage movement, Tennessee’s dramatic vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920, and the years that followed. The 102nd anniversary will be Thursday, August 18th.

The exhibition is constructed of multiple dynamic panels, offering guests a touch-free experience of archival images, engaging stories, and introductions to the leaders of the fight for and against the cause of woman’s suffrage. The stories begin by detailing the early challenges of racial and gender discrimination and continuing to the organization of African American and white women’s associations to encourage political engagement.

Visitors will also learn about Febb Burn of McMinn County, whose letter to her son, Harry T. Burn, resulted in a last-minute vote that helped change women’s history in the United States forever.

The Wilson County Courthouse is located at 228 East Main Street in Lebanon, TN. The courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8:00A.M.-4:00P.M. Patrons and visitors alike may enter through the building’s front doors and use the stairwell or elevator to travel upstairs. The exhibit admission is FREE of charge and will be displayed upstairs in front of the County Commission meeting room. The exhibit’s panels are touch-free and will be separated to allow plenty of room for viewers to read the panels at their own pace.

To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote is organized by the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives with funding provided by The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial. The project is also funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About Tennessee State Museum

The Tennessee State Museum, on the corner of Rosa L Parks Blvd. and Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, is home to 13,000 years of Tennessee art and history. Through six permanent exhibitions titled Natural History, First Peoples, Forging a Nation, The Civil War and Reconstruction, Change and Challenge and Tennessee Transforms, the Museum takes visitors on a journey – through artifacts, films, interactive displays, events, and educational programming – from the state’s geological beginnings to the present day. Additional temporary exhibitions explore significant periods and individuals in history, along with art and cultural movements. Additional temporary exhibitions explore Tennessee history including the current exhibition, Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote. For more information on exhibitions, events and digital programming, please visit tnmuseum.org.

About Tennessee State Library and Archives

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is located next to the State Capitol building in Nashville. Established in 1854, it houses a vast collection of books, documents, maps and photographs about the State of Tennessee. These materials are open to the public for research use, and staff are on hand to assist researchers. Suffrage-related collections include legislative records, oral histories, historical newspapers and manuscript collections. For more information about the collections of the Library & Archives and how to access them, please visit www.sos.tn.gov/tsla

The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial

The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial was created by the appointment of the TN House Speaker and Lt. Governor and began work in February 2019. Governor Bill Lee declared August 2019 to August 2020 as the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial Year. Under leadership from the Tennessee General Assembly, the Committee members include the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the State Historian, and the Tennessee Historical Society. Learn more at TNWoman100.com.

Pictured above: Anne Dallas Dudley and Her Children, 1910s, courtesy of the Tennessee State Library & Archives

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