MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Discovery Center is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which ratified women’s right to vote, with a new pop-up exhibit from the National Archives. The exhibit officially opened on Tuesday, Aug. 18, Rightfully Hers explores the history of the women’s suffrage movement and its impact today.
Tennessee played a pivotal role in the passage of the 19th Amendment. By the summer of 1920, 35 of the 36 states necessary had ratified the amendment. Eight states had rejected the amendment, and five had not voted. Suffragists saw Tennessee as their last, best hope for ratification before the 1920 presidential election. Governor Albert H. Roberts called a special session of the General Assembly on August 9 to consider the issue. Pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage activists from around the state and the country descended on Nashville, intent on influencing the legislature.
About the Exhibit
Rightfully Hers contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women’s voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today. Despite decades of marches, petitions, and public debate to enshrine a woman’s right to vote in the constitution, the 19th Amendment – while an enormous milestone – did not grant voting rights for all. The challenges of its passage reverberate to the ongoing fight for gender equity today.
Rightfully Hers co-curator Jennifer N. Johnson states: “The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate, and although it enshrined in the U.S. Constitution fuller citizenship for women many remained unable to vote.”
Rightfully Hers is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives has launched a nationwide initiative and major exhibition that explores the generations-long fight for universal woman suffrage. The exhibition is presented in part by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, and Denise Gwyn Ferguson.
About the Discovery Center
The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is a hands-on, environmental, cultural and educational museum located in the heart of Middle Tennessee. More than 120,000 children and families visit annually, exploring exhibits and participating in programs that promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) education. Adjacent to the Center is the protected Murfree Spring wetlands, a natural habitat for a variety of fish, amphibians and birds.
Located at 502 S.E. Broad Street in Murfreesboro, TN.
For more information, visit www.explorethedc.org or call (615) 890-2300.