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Woman Suffrage Celebration Recap and Preview

The year-long Official Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial Celebration has begun.

On August 18, 1920, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the ratification resolution giving the 19th amendment its 36th and final state necessary for ratification.

On Monday, August 19, 2019, the kick-off event took place, to start our year of celebration and remembrance for the moment that special legislative session and successful vote that led to suffrage for women occurred.

State Representative Robin Smith is the Chair of these year-long planned events.

For more information, go to Facebook: TNWoman100.

On August 18, 2019, in Knoxville there was a Febb Burn Day Dinner.  Febb Burn was Harry T. Burn’s mother who sent her son the note “Hurrah and vote for suffrage” which influenced him, the youngest Republican state legislator in Tennessee at that time, to break the tie and vote for the 19th amendment.

On August 21 & 22, 2019, the Official Committee on Tennessee Woman Suffrage planned two work days at the TN State Library and Archives for volunteers to assist with assembling the DocsBoxes to be sent to schools to assist with their curriculum over the course of the year.

On Saturday, August 24, 2019, a Suffrage Supporters group laid wreaths at the TN Woman Suffrage Monument in Centennial Park in Nashville.  As one of the 17 organizations that supported and funded this monument, a TFRW representative laid a beautiful wreath of yellow roses, the symbol of Women’s Suffrage, at the monument. A private champagne reception followed at the Hermitage Hotel.

The Federation was honored to assist in this important celebration of TN history for the purpose of our civic legacy.  Over the coming months, we will see the TN Woman 100 logo and hear more about our history and the role Tennessee played in the effort for woman suffrage.

At our TFRW Biennial Convention on October 18, 2019, our Friday evening dinner event was especially noteworthy as the “Story of the Yellow Rose” was retold with a skit that depicted the debate and vote in the Tennessee General Assembly for the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.  The special actors involved in the skit were Representatives Jeremy Faison, Robin Smith, and Micah Van Huss, along with Tyler Boyd, great grand-nephew of Harry T. Burn, the actual legislator who cast the deciding vote for the amendment. 

On November 21, 2019, Nashville Public Television showed its original documentary “By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South,” which includes interviews with dozens of experts on the subject.  This documentary will be shown in April on Public Television stations in both East and West Tennessee.  However, we have put the YouTube link to this documentary on the tnfrw.org website for you to see now. 

Next, on November 25, there was BIG NEWS when President Trump, joined by Senator Marsha Blackburn, signed the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act into law. Yes, Senator Blackburn’s legislation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote, and this bill authorizes the U. S. Treasury Department to mint $1 silver coins in honor of the suffragettes, the pioneers and trailblazers who made it possible for women to even be members of Congress.

In December, 2019, TNWoman100 announced the “Battle for the Ballot,” a statewide student competition that commemorates 100 years of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment in 2020. Students from kindergarten to high school can win scholarship money, iPads and a trip to Nashville. Different grade levels will have different projects, from designing a suffrage banner, to writing a poem, public service announcement or speech, to producing a short documentary film.  Winners in each category, and their teachers, will get an invitation and travel stipend to come to Nashville to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being planned in August 2020. 

On January 13, 2020, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre’ Hargett unveiled the Tennessee Blue Book, our state’s official historic reference.  Secretary Hargett said: “The cover of this year’s edition is yellow to honor the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.  This commemorative edition is part of Tennessee’s year-long centennial celebration of women’s suffrage.”

Needless to say, in 2020, TFRW will be officially celebrating Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial, and, with 7 months left to the date of the official 100-year ratification of the 19th Amendment, the NFRW will be featuring monthly events as we count down to our official August Celebration.  

“Celebrating 100 Years of Woman Suffrage” will be the theme of our March 30, 2020 TFRW Ladies’ Day on the Hill with Representative Robin Smith, the Chair of the Official State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee, as our keynote speaker in the House Chamber.  Senator Marsha Blackburn has confirmed to be our keynote speaker on March 30, 2020, during luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown Nashville.

There will be more to come, as the year unfolds and I will keep you informed of all activities.  

Barbara Trautman, TFRW President

Blackburn’s Bill Signed By President

Will Create Coin to Honor 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage Movement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) joined President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday for the signing of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. Senator Blackburn’s legislation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote. The measure honors the centennial and the legacy of the suffrage activists with a commemorative coin minted by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

“Every woman in Congress has the women of the suffrage movement to thank for our right to represent our constituents today,” Senator Blackburn said about the signing. “Thank you, Mr. President, for keeping this history alive for future generations. The 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment is a rare moment to celebrate the milestone in American history that made it possible for women to finally have a voice in government. Ninety-nine years after women gained the right to vote, I became the first woman from Tennessee to serve in the United States Senate. I am honored to have worked with Senator Gillibrand and Reps. Stefanik and Lawrence to commemorate the pioneers and trailblazers who made it possible for us to be members of these chambers.”
President Trump Signing Bill to Coin to Honor 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage
BACKGROUNDSenators Blackburn and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced S. 1235, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, on April 30, 2019. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) led companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The women’s suffrage movement began in July 1848 with the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. The fight concluded in August 1920 in Nashville, Tennessee, 140 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Tennessee was the 36th and final state needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.
Interview with Senator Marsha Blackburn


TFRW State Convention, Johnson City, TN October 2019

“By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South, The Citizenship Project”

Trump Video with Lee Greenwood Singing
Ragged Old Flag

2019 TFRW Gallery of Images Link

NFRW National Convention, Indy, IN September 2019

TNFRW Diamond Award Winning Clubs

2019 NFRW Gallery of Images Link

“What a great TFRW Board Meeting we had on May 18, 2019!  Much information was presented, Delegates at Large and Alternates at Large were elected to the NFRW Biennial Convention, the NFRW Suffrage Celebration video was shown, and Tyler Boyd, great grand-nephew of Harry T. Burn was the guest speaker.  Read more in the Iris Messenger.” 

Women’s Suffrage Centennial Preview

2019 Ladies Day on the Hill Link to Gallery of Images

Check out the pictures from this year’s successful (click above link): 2019 Ladies’ Day on the Hill at the capitol. Governor Bill Lee was the first speaker from a strong leadership team in chamber and Representative Mark Green spoke at the luncheon, just to name a few of the awesome guests updating the attendees. You can view all the highlights from the day by clicking the link under our “Photo” tab across the top of this page.

Women’s History Month Celebrates Barbara Trautman and Jennifer Little (Click to Read Article)

TNFRW Celebrates our own, Marsha Blackburn, the first woman elected to the position of Senator from TN.

Congratulations Senator Blackburn!

Congressman                            Congressman                        Congressman 
      Marsha Blackburn                              Phil Roe                             David Kustoff

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