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Centennial of Women’s Suffrage

This year marks the 100th anniversary of United States women winning the right to vote. In August 1920, Tennessee gave women across the nation something they had worked to achieve for 72 years and three generations: suffrage. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. This legislation created the three-fourths majority needed to amend the United States’ constitution, and, on August 26, the amendment became law, which gave suffrage to more than 27 million women across the nation.

Please visit TNWoman100.com for additional information about the yearlong centennial of women’s suffrage celebration as well as additional resources for teachers.

In accordance with T.C.A. § 49-6-1028, during the 2019-20 school year, all districts must ensure that students receive instruction about the Women’s Suffrage Movement at all grade levels (i.e., K–12) during each month of the 2019-20 school year. Although districts will choose which resources and materials to use when providing instruction about Tennessee’s fundamental role in guaranteeing women the right to vote, the department will provide sample resources and materials monthly between September 2019 and May 2020.

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For the month of September, the department is highlighting the Seneca Falls Convention. The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women’s rights convention in the United States. This meeting is considered the official beginning of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States and is where the Declaration of Sentiments was written, which stated that “all men and women are created equal.”

The following resources are examples that districts can use to begin an exploration into the beginning of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In addition to thoughtful preparation from these resources, there are additional components for which educators will need to plan and prepare. These include, but are not limited to, reviewing all activities prior to use and adjusting material as needed.

For the month of October, the department is highlighting the formation of women’s associations and their leaders. In 1869, two national organizations (The American Woman Suffrage Association and The National Woman Suffrage Association) were formed to further the cause of women’s suffrage. Although these associations were formed for different reasons, the leaders strived for the same thing: voting rights for women.

The following resources are examples that districts can use to begin exploring the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In addition to thoughtful preparation from these resources, there are additional components for which educators will need to plan and prepare. These include, but are not limited to, reviewing all activities prior to use and adjusting material as needed.

For the month of November, the department is highlighting the early fight for women’s suffrage in Tennessee, including the first public meeting in Tennessee on Suffrage in 1879 and the Equal Suffrage Association forming in 1889. 

The following resources are examples that districts can use to begin exploring the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In addition to thoughtful preparation from these resources, there are additional components for which educators will need to plan and prepare. These include, but are not limited to, reviewing all activities prior to use and adjusting material as needed.

Other Sources

The following are additional resources that districts may find helpful to facilitate students’ exploration of the Women’s Suffrage Movement:

iCivics

Library of Congress

MTSU Teaching with Primary Sources

National Women’s History Museum

NewseumEd

Project Citizen

Stanford Teaching Like a Historian

Tennessee Library and Archives (Secretary of State)

Tennessee Museum (Education)

United States Senate: Woman Suffrage Centennial