State Archives Presents Touring Exhibit on Women’s Suffrage in North Carolina

suffragist calendar

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting the right of women to vote. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources celebrates this milestone with “She Changed the World: North Carolina Women Breaking Barriers,” a series of public programs and activities to honor the achievements of women in our state. 

As part of this initiative, the State Archives of North Carolina will tour An Absolute Moral Certainty: The Woman Suffrage Movement in North Carolina — an exhibit of original archival documents and materials relating to suffrage, including a copy of the 19th Amendment sent to North Carolina for ratification in June of 1919. This document — along with pro- and anti-suffrage propaganda, hand-held fans, facsimiles of legislation, political cartoons, and a suffragist’s sash — will travel the state from November 2019 through November 2020. 

“The State Archives holds materials that document the history and development of North Carolina,” said Sarah Koonts, state archivist. “Our copy of the 19th Amendment is kept in our climate-controlled vault and we don’t often travel it. This exhibit provides an opportunity to see it and some of the other history-making documents we preserve.” 

The exhibit will travel to public libraries, colleges, historic sites, museums, and universities across the state. It opens at Mars Hill University’s Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, from 3:30-8 p.m. Speakers will address women’s suffrage topics, and State Archivist Sarah Koonts will present a program about some of the treasures held at the State Archives. The exhibit’s full touring schedule can be viewed online along with WUNC-TV’s brief film about the exhibit and documents.
Learn more about the “She Changed the World” series of programs including demonstration projects, lectures, and online resources featuring photographs and stories of women who have helped shape the story of our state. 

"She Changed the World" is generously sponsored by Catering Works, the NC Zoological Society and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. 

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