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101 Years: From Suffrage to the White House

Last updated on April 19, 2021

Photo provided by google

By Madison West

Volunteer State Community College hosted 101 Years: From Suffrage to the White House on March 4 via Zoom in honor of Women’s History Month.

Professor of History at Vol State, Dr. Carole Bucy, led the professional development training session speaking on the Nineteenth Amendment and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, according to the Vol State website.

“We as women have made some progress in our march, but it has taken us a long time to get here,” Bucy said at the beginning of the season.

Bucy spoke of getting to witness a dedication ceremony for a monument to honor Women’s Suffrage at Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee on Aug. 18, 2020.

“I was not unexpecting to be as moved as I was that day,” said Bucy.

A team of all female skydivers performed at the ceremony that day as well, said Bucy.

“Every hair on the back of my neck stood up, it was like watching ballet in the air,” she said.

According to Bucy, women have always come together to get things done.

“Whether they were enslaved women picking cotton, whether they helped deliver a child, they were talking,” Bucy said, “men never worked that way, what’s that old saying? A man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done,” she said.

According to Constitution Daily, in Aug. 1920 the struggle between the suffrage movement and the anti-suffrage forces came down to a series of votes in Tennessee. Supporters from both sides camped out at a Nashville hotel and began intense lobbying efforts in what became known as the “War of the Roses,” because supporters of suffrage wore yellow roses in public; the anti-suffragists wore red roses.

The Tennessee vote, which established the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, was impacted greatly one man in particular, Tennessee State Representative Harry T. Burns, said Bucy.

According to Constitution Daily, Burn was a Republican who was against the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

According to Constitution Daily, Burn initially voted to table the vote so that it could be brought back in the next legislative session but another representative, Banks Turner, switched sides during the roll call, leaving the vote deadlocked and moving the ratification vote forward.

Burn, wearing a red rose, voted in favor of ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment because of a letter he received from his mother, Febb E. Burn, said Bucy.

The letter requested that Burn “be a good boy and vote for the amendment,” said Bucy.

Bucy ended her presentation with a dedication to women in positions of political power and thanked all women who dared to run and serve in our government.

The event was hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Vol State, according to Administrative Assistant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Lori Miller

“The woman’s suffrage movement is important to all of us because it resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which finally allowed women the right to vote. Girls today are born, and this is not even something that they have to worry about being able to do. In my opinion, girls (women) can do anything they put their hearts and mind into, now we have a female Vice President,” said Miller.

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