By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South

Episode 1 of 1

When Tennessee legislator Harry T. Burn followed his mother's advice and cast his fateful vote to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he ensured the state would forever be associated with bestowing the right to vote, a fundamental civil right, on U.S. women. But the short story of this vote belies the irony of this state and region's late and reluctant participation in the suffrage effort. The full story of Burn's vote and the Southern suffrage movement is one of compromises, abandoned ideals and promises broken; as well as deep racial and gender divisions in the struggle for political power. Tennessee's suffrage journey is part of the long aftermath of the Civil War in which women were no longer satisfied to be spectators in political processes nor to be relegated to second-class citizenship. By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South examines the tactics and attitudes of Tennessee and Southern suffragists, exploring how the shadow of the Confederacy and values of the "Lost Cause" shaped the fight for full female enfranchisement. Narrated by Rosanne Cash, NPT's original documentary chronicles the events leading up to the turbulent, nail-biting showdown of August 1920.

Previously Aired

2 p.m.
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