Progress Sometimes Means Taking the Stairs

August 24, 2018 · Collections ·

1919 and 1920 saw a flurry of activity leading up to the ratification on August 18, 1920 of the 19th Amendment, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. On that date, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment and provided the 2/3 of states needed to make the amendment part of the United States Constitution.

For decades, women and male allies, fought for women’s suffrage in the US. One of those fighters was Miss Catherine Flanagan, of Hartford. She was one of the national organizers of the National Women’s Party. In 1917, she joined the picket line outside the White House and was arrested for disrupting traffic and sentenced to 30 days at the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Va.

When you think of women’s fight for the right to vote, it might be hard to imagine that any woman would oppose it. But thousands of CT women in the 1910s fought tooth-and-nail against woman suffrage, even some who were tireless advocates for other forms of social justice. Why? What values underlay the anti-suffrage campaign? Join Adult Programs Manager Natalie Belanger in the WWI exhibit for a deep dive into this topic. We’ll look at photos, letters and pamphlets from this period, including the archives of the Connecticut Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, to understand one of the most hard-fought political battles of the WWI era.

In August 1920, Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting women full and equal voting rights. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified by U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, and women finally achieved the long-sought right to vote throughout the United States.
On August 18, 1920, Tennessee narrowly approved the Nineteenth Amendment, with 50 of 99 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voting yes.[22] This provided the final ratification necessary to add the amendment to the Constitution.[23]

Read more about Catherine Flanagan and when she was arrested for picketing.

Harris & Ewing Inc. was a photographic studio in Washington, D.C., owned and run by George W. Harris and Martha Ewing.

On his retirement, Harris gave some 700,000 glass and film negatives to the Library of Congress,[3] which preserves them as the Harris & Ewing Collection in the Prints and Photographs Division.[7] Largely taken in and around Washington between 1905 and 1945, the photos portray people, events, and architecture.[6] Many are scanned and online.[6] The City Museum of Washington, D.C. also has a large number of Harris & Ewing photographs, and others are held by the National Portrait Gallery and the Newseum.[2]

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