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East Tennessee Historical Society: Marching to Victory: East Tennessee’s Role in Votes for Women

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Category: Exhibitions & visual art and History & heritage

In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of women gaining the right to vote nationally, the East Tennessee Historical Society announces the opening of a new feature exhibition in the Museum of East Tennessee History’s Streetscape entitled Marching to Victory: East Tennessee’s Role in Votes for Women. The exhibition, which will run from August 18, 2020 through November 2020, tells the story of Tennessee’s history in politics and civic engagement and showcases how Tennessee became the “Perfect 36th” state needed to secure national ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This special exhibition chronicles the national progression of the Woman Suffrage Movement and highlights East Tennessee contributions including those made by Lizzie Crozier French, Cora E. Burke, and Eliza Shaut White. The Streetscape with its recreation of a 1920s East Tennessee Main Street serves as the backdrop for visitors who are immersed in the drama of the Woman Suffrage Movement. Life-size mannequins dressed as suffragists hoist reproduction campaign signs, as interpretive panels recount the unique stories of how individuals affected change.

The “march to victory” culminates in the display of the letter State Representative Harry T. Burn received from his mother, Febb E. Burn, encouraging him to vote in support of woman suffrage. This letter persuaded Harry Burn to change his vote, breaking a deadlocked state legislature, and ultimately changed history by making the ratification of the 19th Amendment possible. The letter is on loan from Knox County Public Library’s Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection.

Museum hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ETHS is following the guidelines within the Tennessee Pledge and has modified the Museum of East Tennessee History’s visitor experience. We ask that all museum visitors support our community’s health by observing these guidelines:
• Wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times (masks are available on site)
• Make regular use of the hand sanitizing stations located throughout the building
• Stay at least six feet away from anyone not in your household and follow one-way path markers
• Stay at home if you are sick

East Tennessee Historical Society, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information: 865-215-8824, www.easttnhistory.org