NASHVILLE, Tenn.– A monument celebrating Tennessee’s pivotal role in securing victory for woman suffrage was unveiled on Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 26, 2016, in Nashville’s Centennial Park.
Tennessee was the last state of the then 48 states that could possibly ratify the 19th Amendment which granted all American women the right to vote in 1920. Editorial cartoonists called the state “The Perfect 36” since three-quarters of the states were necessary for ratification.
This privately funded $900,000 monument is sculpted by renowned Nashville artist Alan LeQuire, who created the 19th Amendment bas relief sculpture that hangs inside the Tennessee State Capitol and Athena Parthenos inside The Parthenon at Centennial Park.
It features five women who were actually in Nashville during the final ratification effort – Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville; Frankie Pierce of Nashville; Sue Shelton White of Jackson; Abby Crawford Milton of Chattanooga; and Carrie Chapman Catt, the national suffrage leader who came to Nashville during the summer of 1920 to direct the pro-suffrage forces and stayed at the Hermitage Hotel.
“There is nothing outside the state capitol building that depicts this historic event. By having this monument in Centennial Park, which has a historic connection to the suffrage movement, it will be seen by thousands of visitors,” said Paula F. Casey of Memphis, who is Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument, Inc., board president.
“We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles to make this happen. What we had to go through pales in comparison to the struggle the suffragists went through to win the right to vote for us,” she said. “This monument is for the ages. A hundred years from now, people will be reading about these remarkable women. Public art is forever.”
For more information, go to www.tnsuffragemonument.org.
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