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tv   American Artifacts Votes for Women Exhibit Part 2  CSPAN  August 18, 2020 11:22am-11:56am EDT

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right to vote in the united states but trace how they switch tactics and achieve progress in comparatively small amount of time and talk about the changes from 1965. >> this was the first of a 2-part tour of the national portrait gallery's vote for women exhibit. we can watch this and other american artifacts programs by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. next a visit to the smithsonian's national portrait gallery. the second of a 2-part program, historian kate clark -- kate clarke lemay gives american
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history tv a guided tour of an exhibit marking the centennial of the amendment using political cartoons and images of suffragists picketing the white house. and women's party tactics under leadership of alice paul. >> i am kate clarke lemay, curator of an exhibition on view of the national portrait gallery on the smithsonian institution. our title treatment is a large blowup of hedwig riker who was a german born actress and she was acting at columbia, the allegorical figure that represents the united states during the conclusion of the 1913 parade in washington dc and that is just one event of the long suffrage movement this
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exhibition highlights, 124 objects, long history beginning in 1832, right up to 1920, also querying the nineteenth amendment, to franchise all women including women of color. i took that up to the voting rights act of 1965. if you will come with me we are going to explore the 1913 parade more "in depth". so we are standing in front of several postcards of the 1913 parade organized by alex hall and this is a different tactic man what has been done before by other suffragists but alex hall was trying to create headlines. after spending time in britain
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she got radicalized by the british suffragettes and learned how to create a spectacle, and even. if you came back to the united states in 1911-12, at the congressional union, this parade, 8000 suffragists marched down from the capital at the beginning down pennsylvania avenue, at the end of pennsylvania avenue. at the treasury building you see this pageant, lady liberty and her attendants. in between they had to make their way through 500,000 spectators, a huge number, police protection, the chief of
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police in washington dc was not a friend to suffragists, denies and police protection even though paul had applied for a permit. and what we would think of as the national guard on standby in nearby fort myers, the crowd got really unruly and aggressive towards suffragists, that is when they called them calvary from virginia and had that group serve as protector of the suffragists. it was quite dramatic in that sense because suffragists were not expecting these huge huge crowds. this inaugural speech for his
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first term as president, almost nobody showed up and asks where is everybody and pulled out all the spectators. on my left and you're right is the official program for women's suffrage, you can see, from the parade and you can see his purple roads, the color of royalty, walking down the front of the capital, presumably pennsylvania avenue with her trumpet with the banner, vote for women, heralding in the call for freedom. i mentioned alex paul who has been radicalized by the british
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suffragette movement but compelling tactics, sort of the next generation of suffragists. the national association was led by annahoward shaw, employing these more attention grabbing tactics like the parade as well as creating the poster that i am standing next to. the container corporation of america, i think that was the connection the husband of these women out there advocating having a political voice, doing their best to support women and you can see, the double-headed
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act and this engines got of hermes, with the measure of inequality, and symbolizing the mother goddess, all these different ways that suffragists are trying to cooperate by ancient civilizations, and american society as well. so nina fell under was in illustrator and artist who made 200 illustrations like this one called his district from 1916 who worked to help the suffrage caused by creating depictions of women at work advocating for the cause.
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a magazine newspaper the national women's party produced 4 years and years. here we see this young woman who is educating herself by reading a book called campaign textbook and beautifully dressed, nice embroidered shirt on, hair is up with the cloth, well done and nice shoes and sitting in front of her desk that is crowded with books so the books are lists of voters, the map of his district so all of this is to exemplify how suffragists were lobbying, the first group to understand what lobbying was and entails what it meant, gained them political
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power, by convincing their representatives and legislators whatever his district was, applied to any state so this is part of that state-by-state effort. under the lead of alice paul they were interested in the federal amendment, to change their referendum to support an amendment, and to convince the legislator in the state to ratify it. nina allender is a great figure in the suffrage movement because helped to popularize it.
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in the philadelphia academy of fine art, excited to get these objects on the wall in the exhibition to make sure, where the suffrage movement was being taught in its own ranks during the era of the 19 teens. in 1917, alice paul decided to do something even more drastic, down pennsylvania avenue, one of the first groups of picketers that were nonviolent that stood outside the white house, basically declared their protests of the president, that they would carry banners, what will you do for women's suffrage? the president being woodrow
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wilson, who would carry out two terms as president, in 1919, at this .1915 and in 1917 they pick at the white house, two long years of picketing, every day, stand outside the white house and hold their silence as referred to by the press and they would leave their headquarters in lafayette square, the other side of lafayette square, the national women's party, leave their headquarters with banners in hand, they had adopted purple, the national women's party in
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1913 and that is what they did for two years and stood their ground. also included, you can see at the top college women wearing their banners, they had somatic days in what college women would protest or different state delegations would protest are working women would protest so they would take -- working women only had one day off a week and that was on a sunday. they couldn't protest unless it was a sunday. you see the title cover of the maryland suffrage -- a woman who was white and a seamstress who has been working more than
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eight hours today which are normal working hours regulated by federal law. there were no laws that regulated working so working women were being abused, there were no laws to protect them. this is an illustration by mary taylor and it was done for one of the many suffrage chapters across the united states, the maryland historical society, the suffragists were eventually arrested for obstructing traffic which wasn't exactly their fault. it was the fault of the male spectators who created the
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blocks, the masses of human bodies obstructing traffic but they were arrested and you can see in this picture, this portrait of these two women, they are confiscating the banners, the women are most likely not going to pay the fine and they will be sentenced to jail or the lorton workhouse. what i find interesting is they are very well dressed. the women that were picketing were from an elite, wealthy background, the majority of them were working women who would pick it on sundays and working women were very much a part of the suffrage cause later on but there were no african-americans that were part of this movement, this effort at this point because alice paul did not include them
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but i also wonder because they are of vulnerable population, to be arrested meant it was a higher risk than the privileged white women. there is a balance they were striking at this time. at the top you can see lucy brenner, college educated at columbia university, protesting alice paul who had been in prison since 1917 that the government gives paul and the everett -- other suffrage prisoners the privilege of the american political prisoner. the american government did not treat the suffragists as political prisoners, but treated them as criminals. this meant there were no
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privileges given to the suffragists when they are in prison and so they immediately picked up on that and created banners to point out the russian government -- those privileges so why didn't the american government do the same for other political activists in the united states is the question. if we move this you see another beautiful drawing, likening the suffrage, the women are getting grabbed and assaulted even by angry men, likening that moment to training for the draft. in april of 1917 the united states entered world war i. this is a major moment for suffrage because then the
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suffragists were able to say all this effort on the home front, serving as nurses and doctors with the red cross with their own suffrage unit supported by the suffragists, so why couldn't they have a political voice if they were giving up their lives for the united states so these suffragists are carrying banners saying democracy begins at home, and they are attacking the use white women carrying the banners. and obstructing traffic, they
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then during their imprisonment decided to create their own embroidered signature. it is on a piece of burlap, just kind of a record or witness testimony to the fact that they were there and this happened to them. you have two photograph, one of lucy burns in jail, also one of the leaders of this militant suffrage moment and here you see the arrest of the suffragists put in these police wagons and carted off and sentenced to jail. so from 1917 through the end of 1919 the suffragists continue to pick it outside the white house and i was really interested to see images of
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these suffragists almost up close and personal because i wanted to emphasize that these were individuals with their own minds spending their time on this important cause. the video behind me is playing images of them picketing and they kept up the pressure so by creating the headlines and the spectacle i think the suffragists finally achieved the momentum they were searching for throughout the movement because the pressure they placed on president woodrow wilson was so much that he endorsed the cause and when he did, on may 21st, 1919, the amendment that was proposed
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actually passed the house of representatives and it passed in the senate in 1919, the amendment was set out to the states to get two thirds to sign off on ratifying this amendment which would then become law and this part of the exhibition covers militant suffragists, explains why they were doing what they were doing and we look at the nineteenth amendment and see what it actually says and how women's political voices changed after being granted the right to vote but looking at which women didn't have the right to vote and what they did about that. when women got the right to vote they had a political voice and they were voters so different parties put it in different ways.
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you have calvin coolidge along with warren harding who ran for president on the republican party ticket in november of 1920 and this is from october of 1920, exclaiming 2 women, for your own good vote for the republican party, republican ticket. they are producing this recruitment published in vogue and also the little ribbon that says under the nineteenth amendment i cast my first vote november 2nd, 1920, but clearly engaging the new female voters so harding and coolidge, the straight republican ticket and on the piece of paper on which the ribbon was sold it said
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souvenir of the greatest event of my life so they really dramatize the act of voting but for some women it was the greatest event of their life, amendment they had achieved, the first step towards equality and gaining a more democratic experience as a citizen of the united states and the voting rights they had achieved. in the concluding gallery of this exhibition i went to point out the text of the nineteenth amendment and what it says and what it doesn't say. the rights of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state so letting it sink in when you think about the wording of the
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nineteenth amendment as it applies giving the right to vote 2 women nowhere does it say guaranteed the right to vote. that is a big difference in achieving the right to vote for everybody. what we think the nineteenth amendment did at the reality of what it did. in this moment states still can find ways to disenfranchise voters and up to our contemporary moment in 2019 there are states and laws that are seeking to disenfranchise voters, still contending with the wording of this nineteenth amendment because it is not as specific as we would like it to be and on until the voting
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rights act of 1965 that things became crystal clear and people had the right to vote and were guaranteed the right to vote and not be discriminated against. i am standing in front of a portrait of a native american who like others of her generation was forced to attend the carlisle boarding school which created a fusion of native americans and white society by not allowing them to give up languages, placing them, putting them in western dress and so forth. as a result she became - she understood a culture of her native tribe which was to indian and able to bridge the gap and talk with leaders and as a result, with other native
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americans she founded the society of the american indian. this was an activist society that really promoted equal rights for native americans. it was a long and lonely road for native americans. they were not considered citizens of the united states until 1924, four years after the nineteenth amendment ostensibly granted citizens the right to vote. that did not apply to native americans. ever since, native americans continue to fight for their rights including most recently in north dakota when voter enfranchisement laws actually made it so that you cannot vote unless you have a physical address. a lot of native americans
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living on reservations have po boxes as their address. they are not allowed to vote under these current laws. i just wanted to point out also, citizens of the united states who include citizens of puerto rico, looking at a portrait that was made in 1992, she was quite elderly at this time. the first female governor of san juan. in 1932 was a suffragist, actually advocating for the right to vote among literate white women residing in puerto rico. she was trying to advocate for
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suffrage but it was a step-by-step approach and not until 1935 that women across puerto rico were given the right to vote and later on elected as the mayor of san juan which she held for many terms through 1968. a really beloved figure, not the only suffragist from puerto rico. louise castillo was the most well-known but we don't have a portrait of her and couldn't get one in time for this exhibition. this is a portrait from our own collection we were able to use to help represent lafayette's population in the united states and finally i am showing you a portrait of the uss to build,
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because, very active for native american rights and expert witness when there was a civil rights case in 1879 against -- she was able to help native americans choose where to live. they were removed left and right, all over the place. they were tempting to return to their homeland and in this case she was able to make into law the rights of native americans to choose where they could live so this is another example of an activist was not single issue focused only on suffrage but was working on other ways
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to improve women's lives in the rights of women in the native community, just to have the one or 2 that they were working towards but instead lots of different things that were coinciding alongside suffrage. we are looking at a portrait of fannie lou hamer who was a great activist especially in the 1964 democratic convention who gave a speech that galvanized the american public because it was televised and she said i am sick and tired of being sick and tired alluding to her try to have rights as an african-american, citizenship rights. earlier, a vote in the early
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50s, had been denied because she was the literate. as a young woman she had to give up going to school to help her family because she worked as a young woman and never learned how to read so this is one example of an activist whose words are spoken from the heart and she had this immeasurable effect influencing the american public at large because her speech was televised. the voting rights act was signed in 1965 in part because of that convention in which fannie lou hamer played a major role in signed by lyndon johnson. i am standing next to a later portrait of patsy mix who had been working on the voting rights act, as a woman of
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color, she also witnessed the infringement of her citizenship rights so part of her legacy is the voting rights act but also panel 9 after the voting rights act, she went on to design and be an architect of the title ix amendment which is the equal opportunity education act a lot of women have benefited from. these two figures helps to take the story up to 1965 and beyond, citizenship rights is an ongoing conversation and these activists, particular these women helped change american law. i am excited to have told you a little bit about this, this included 6 galleries in this
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long hallway a really covering the time from 1832 up to 1920 but also pointing to the events that happened after the passage of the nineteenth amendment up to the 1965 voting rights act and the voting rights of these women. what i hope people come away with is these women were empowering themselves and helps to empower us today. looking at what had not been done, they set out a task for themselves to change the united states constitution, they did it and set an example for us today to take our voting rights, to ensure they remain sacred and unquestioned and safeguarded for eternal he -- eternity. not only are you learning history but hope you're feeling empowered yourself.
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>> this was the second of a 2-part tour of the national portrait gallery's votes for women exhibit marking the centennial of the nineteenth amendment. you can watch this and other american artifacts programs by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. our live coverage of the democratic national convention continues tonight with alexandria ocasio cortez, former president bill clinton and former second lady doctor jill biden, live coverage of democratic national convention tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span, live streaming and on demand, c-span.org/dnc or listen to the free c-span radio apps. c-span, your unfiltered view of politics. >> wisconsin center in

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