• Mystie Raven

Suffrage was a Movement . . . . . . . . . not a Moment

Why should women vote. Here's a favorite story of mine (PS. already mailed in my ballot).

"On Aug. 18, 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment — which guarantees women equal voting rights — came down to a single tie-breaking vote in the Tennessee Legislature.

Harry T. Burn, a 24-year-old state representative, was up for reelection and under pressure to oppose the amendment, which Congress had passed in 1919 and which required ratification by 36 states.

Tucked away in Burn's suit pocket was a letter from his mother, Febb Burn. “Hurrah and vote for suffrage,” she wrote to her son — and so he did, securing the amendment's ratification in Tennessee and finalizing its passage into law.

Decisive as Burn's vote and the milestones of the suffrage movement may have been, 'it is critical to understand that [suffrage] was a movement, not a moment,' says Corinne Porter, curator of the 'Rightfully Hers' exhibit at the National Archives Museum, which chronicles decades of suffrage activism."

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