Rightfully Hers exhibit

Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which ratified women’s right to vote! This new pop-up exhibit from the National Archives explores the history of the women’s suffrage movement and its impact today.

 

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.”

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.

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.