Welcome Remarks "Women Suffragists and the Men Who Supported Them: The Suffragents and Their Role in the Struggle for the Vote"
McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
October 17, 2019
Good evening, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m Debra Steidel Wall, Deputy Archivist of the United States, and I’m very pleased you could join us for tonight’s program, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through Facebook, YouTube, or C-SPAN.
Tonight’s discussion of “Women Suffragists and the Men Who Supported Them: The Suffragents and Their Role in the Struggle for the Vote,” is part of the series of events related to our current special exhibit Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote. Our partners for tonight’s program are the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative and the One Woman, One Vote 2020 Festival, and we thank them for their support.
Our special exhibit, Rightfully Hers, tells the story of women’s struggle for voting rights. To secure these rights, women activists had to win allies among men in influential positions. It was men who already voted and who sat in the state legislatures that would ratify or reject the 19th Amendment, whose centennial we now celebrate.
When Rightfully Hers opened in our Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery last May, guests at the opening reception were offered a yellow rose pin as they entered the museum. That pin called back to the badges worn by members of the Men's League for Women's Suffrage. To many guests, this nod to male supporters of the suffrage movement came as something of a surprise.
Tonight we’ll look at the role of these “suffragents” and their contributions to the voting rights struggle.
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It is my pleasure to welcome Nancy Tate to the stage. Since 2015, Nancy has served as the Co-chair of the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, and is also on the board of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. From 2000 to 2015, she served as the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters. Previously, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the National Academy of Public Administration, and in the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and the Office of Economic Opportunity.