Did your grandmother vote?… Tennessee helped pave the way for women to vote

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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The 100-year anniversary of Tennessee’s Perfect 36 is fast approaching. This was a monumentous event in Tennessee history as it became the final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote in the United States.
On August 18, 1920, Tennessee ratified the amendment, and on August 26, 1920, it became law.
To commemorate a century of voting, the Overmoutain Republican Club and the Carter County Democratic Women’s Club have teamed up to promote the milestone.
This includes the Elizabethton City Council presenting a resolution at it’s regularly-scheduled August meeting on Thursday and the Carter County Commission presenting a resolution on Aug. 17.
Commissioner Ginger Holdren discussed the county aspect.
Holdren was approached by the groups and is the first official involved. She explained that should this resolution pass, a yellow rose bush, possibly donated, would be planted and a plaque would also be placed with it.
The yellow rose is a significant symbol of the movement. Known as the “War of Roses,” suffragists dawned yellow roses while anti-suffragists dawned red roses.
The yellow rose bush symbolizes those suffragists.
On Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. the Bonnie Kate Theater will be playing HBO’s suffragist film, “Iron Jawed Angels.” The 2004 historical drama film details the women’s suffrage movement.
Jeff Treadway, a city councilman and board member for the theater, explained the theater’s desire to be involved.
“It goes along with what we are trying to do, partnering with the community,” he said.
Patricia Buck, a member of the Carter County Democratic Women’s Club, said she hopes the film brings about some realizations.
“I hope they realize how hard our ancestors fought for this,” Buck said. “I hope they realize what a blessing it is to have women in politics. We have more women on the Carter County Commission than there has ever been in the past.”
In discussions with people in the community, Buck said the very question of whether people know if their grandmothers voted has been asked, with many not knowing the answer.
To women, Buck stressed the importance of using your right to vote.
“Don’t give up on using your voice,” she said.

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