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Celebrating Nashville's Place in the History of 19th Amendment

In 2020, Nashville Public Library opened a permanent exhibit in the main library dedicated to the role Nashville played in passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. The room is called Votes for Women: The Legacy of the 19th Amendment.

The self-guided exhibit overlooks the spot in downtown Nashville where suffragist and anti-suffragist activists converged as Tennessee cast the deciding vote on ratifying the 19th Amendment.

This permanent collection of books, stories, documents and other records to provide a lasting tribute to the pivotal and dramatic story of Nashville’s role in granting women the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. In addition, the exhibit provides a space to explore how core themes, such as gender, race, class, money, states’ rights, voter suppression and power in a democracy, are still with us today.

“This space explores why it was so hard and took so long for women to get the vote, and aims to remind ordinary students and adults of today that voting matters,” said Margaret Behm, spokesperson for the Votes for Women Project. “We are particularly excited about the library’s long-term commitment to developing this exceptional collection and continuing this critical conversation in the community.”

The Honor Roll

Generous donors from across our community supported the creation of the space and continue to provide for the ongoing programs of Votes for Women. A digital honor roll was created to acknowledge those who contribute at least $250 to the initiative. With a donation of $250, donors may recognize the special woman of their choice.

“The Votes for Women project is a testament to all the Nashvillians who stood up and dedicated themselves to changing society for the better. It’s an important part of our story, and this exhibit reminds us that a fair and equal society is earned and should be protected.”
David Briley
Former Nashville Mayor