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tv   American Artifacts Votes for Women Exhibit Part 2  CSPAN  August 16, 2020 6:25pm-7:01pm EDT

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states, but they will switch tactics and really achieve progress in a very comparatively small amount of time. and then talk about the changes and the ongoing battle through 1965. >> this is the first of a two-part tour of the national portrait gallery's exhibit marking the centennial of the 19th amendment. you can watch this and american artifacts programs. sitting our website at c-span.org/history. next, a visit to the national portrait gallery. in the second of a two-part program, a historian gives american history tv a tour of an
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exhibit marking the centennial of the 19th amendment. using political cartoons and images of separatist picketing the white house, exploiting the test exploring the national women's party tactics under the leadership of alice paul. >> inx am the curator of floats for women, an exhibition on view at the national portrait gallery at the smithsonian institution. i am standing in front of a large blowup of a german born actress. she was acting as columbia, the allegorical figure, during the conclusion of the 1913 parade in washington d.c. that is just one event of the long suffrage movement that this highlights.
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we have 124 objects that go into the long history beginning in 1832 and 21920. 1920. right upt o to but also carrying the 19th amendment and what it did not do. i then took the exhibition right up to the voting rights act. 1965. we are going to explore the 1913 parade, more in depth. so, we are standing in front of a postcard of the parade, organized by alice paul. this is a completely different tactic than what had been done before by other suffragists. what alice paul was trying to do was create headlines. after spending some time in britain, she got radicalized by the british suffragette and
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learned how to create attention grabbing spectacles. when she came back to the u.s. in 1911 and 1912, she organized with the congressional union, this parade. 8000 suffragette marched from the capitol, down pennsylvania avenue, and they stopped at the treasury building. at the treasury building, they had this pageant. in between, they had to make their way through 500,000 -- spectators. that is a huge number. one of the problems was that it did not have police protection because the chief of police in washington dc was not a friend to suffragette.
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he denied them police protection, even though she had applied for a permit. instead, the secretary of war, part of the presidential cabinet put what we would think of as the national guard on standby in nearby fort myers, in virginia. when the crowd got really unruly and being very aggressive, that is when they literally called in the calvary from virginia and had that group as the protector of the suffragette. it was quite dramatic and that sent because they were not expecting this huge crowd, but the next day was the inaugural speech for his first term as president. almost nobody showed up to his
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speech. he asked, where is everybody? all the spectators had come out the day before to see the suffragists. on your right is the official program. you can see that this is one of four existing program that remain. you can see the joan of arc figures in the purple robe, the color of royalty. walking down the front of the capitol with her trumpet and a banner that says votes for women. she is heralding in this new cause for freedom. i mention alice call who had paul who had been
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radicalized and she brought back those compelling tactics. she is next generation of suffragists. she's broken off from the suffrage association, and she is employing more attention grabbing tactics, like the parade, as well as creating the poster that i am standing next to. he was actually employed by a major company. he was married to a suffragette. the husbands of these women out there advocating for the cause. they were doing their best to support women. he has incorporated the double-headed acts and a hat a the double-headed ax and
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winged hat worn by hermes. we think of him as the divine messenger of equality. the double-headed acts was -- double-headed ax was symbolizing the mother goddess, so there are all these kinds of different ways that they were trying to communicate these ideas of equality by beating out to different civilizations. why not women in americans i.e. n society as well? nina -- was an illustrator and artist who made over 200 illustrations who worked to help the suffrage cause by creating depictions of women at work advocating for the cause. they were published in a
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magazine newspaper that the women's party produced three years and years. -- for years and years. here, we see this young woman, educating herself by reading a book called campaign textbook. she is beautifully dressed, has a nice, embroidered shirt on, her hair is up, and she is wearing nice shoes, and she is sitting in front of her desk, crowded with books. it is all specific to the map of his district. all this to exemplify how they were lobbying. how that would gain then, basically political power through commencing there
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theirough convincing representatives and legislators. this could apply to any state. this is part of that state-by-state effort that they were doing, but under the lead. they wereaul interested in a federal amendment. they were not asking the state-by-state representatives, instead, it would to be -- it would be to support an amendment. so, she is a great figure in the movement because she helped to popularize that and helps people understand it. she was a great artist and end
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her own right. we were excited to get some of these objects on the wall, to make sure that we understood and that we understand today how the suffrage movement was being taught in its own way during the era. in 1917, alice paul decided to do something even more drastic than marching down pennsylvania avenue. that was depicted the white -- picket the white house. this was one of the first groups of picketers that were nonviolent, that stood outside the white house and basically declared their protest of the president in personal terms. they would carry banners saying, what will you do for women's suffrage? the president was woodrow
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wilson, who would carry out two terms as president. he did not endorse suffrage cause until 1915. -- until 1919. at this point, we are in 1915. in 1917, they started picketing the white house. two long years of ticketing. -- of picketing. every day they would stand outside the white house and hold a silent sentinel. they would leave their headquarters, which was across the square situated in front of the white house. on the other site of the square was the headquarters. they had adopted purple into suffrage colors with the new group around 1913. basically, that is what they did
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for two years and stood their ground. they also included college women. even working women would protest as well. working women only had one day off of work a week. they could not protest unless it was sunday. we can talk about working women here, where you see the title cover of the maryland suffrage news depicting a woman who was white, who was a seamstress, who had been working for more than eight hours, which are the word -- normal working hours
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regulated by federal law. working women felt like they were being abused, and there were no laws that could protect them, so this woman was basically test to help and the out, andsically passed the illustration was made by mary taylor. it was done by one of the many chapters and it is from the collection of the maryland historical society. the suffragists were eventually arrested for obstructing traffic, which was not exactly their fall. -- their fault. it was because of all the male spectators that were creating the block, the masses of human bodies that were obstructing traffic.
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but they were arrested. you can see the portrait of the two women. the women are most likely not going to pay their fine, and then they would be sentenced to jail. what i find interesting is that they are very well dressed. women picketing were from any elite, wealthy background, the majority of them. there were working women who would pick it on sundays, and they were very much a part of the suffrage cause later on, but there were no african-american s that were part of this movement at this point because alice paul did not include them but also, i wonder if because they are a vulnerable
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population, to be aggressive, -- to be arrested meant they were putting themselves at a higher risk. there is a kind of balance that they were striking at this point in time. the top photo, you can see a cottage educated and she is -- a college educated woman. she is protesting that alice paul, who had been in prison, that the government give paul and the other suffrage prisoners the privilege of the american political prisoner. the american government did not treat the suffragists as political prisoners but as criminals. this meant that there was poor food, no reading, no privileges.
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so they immediately picked up on that and created banners to point out that the government -- the russian government gave a political activist does -- those privileges, so why wouldn't the american government did that for other clinical -- political activists in the u.s.? moving this way, you can see another beautiful drawing. she is likening the suffrage effort, where the women are getting grabbed and assaulted by angry men. she is likening that moment to training for the draft. in april 1917, the u.s. entered world war i. then, they were able to say that
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they were doing all this effort on the home front or serving as nurses and doctors with the red cross with their own units of support and getting involved in the war directly, so why couldn't they have a political voice, if they were basically giving up their lives u.s.? allender's drawing really gets added. meanwhile, these angry men are attacking these white women, carrying the banner. this is a piece of cotton. during their imprisonment, they decided to create their own embroidered signature.
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it was on a piece of burlap. it was a testimony to the fact that they were there and that this happened to that. finally, you have two photographs. one is of lucy burns, in jail. she was also one of the leaders of this military suffrage moment of the suffrage movement. here, you see the arrest of the suffragists, put into the police wagons and being carted off to basically get sentenced to jail. from 1917 through the end of 1919 they continued to picket outside of the white house. i was really interested to see images of the suffragists up close and personal, almost
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environmental because i wanted to emphasize that these were individuals, with their own lives, spending their time on this important cause. the video behind me is playing images of then picketing. they kept up the pressure. by creating the headlines and creating the spectacle, i think they finally achieved the kind of momentum they were searching for throughout the entire movement because the pressure that they place on president woodrow wilson was so much that he finally forced the cause, and -- endorsed the cause, and when he did on may 21 of 1919, the amendment was proposed actually passed the house of
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representatives and then it passed in the senate. at which point, the amendment was sent out to the state to get them to sign off on ratifying the amendment. this part of the exhibition really covers the militant suffragists, explains why they were doing what they were doing and in the last room, we will see what it actually says and how women's political voices changed after being granted the right to vote, but also to look at which women did not have the right to vote and what they say about that. when women finally got the right to vote, then they had a political voice, and then they were voters. you have calvin coolidge running for vice president along with
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harding. that was for the republican party ticket. this is from october of 1920. for your own good, vote for the republican party. they were producing all this recruitment, basically. also, material culture in the form of the yellow ribbon. under the 19th amendment, i cast my first vote. clearly, it was engaging the new, female voter. and then, on a piece of paper, it says, souvenir of this greatest event of my life.
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they really dramatized the act of voting, but for some women, this really was the greatest event of their life. they achieved the first step toward equality. in the concluding gallery of this exhibition, i wanted to make sure to point out the text of the 19th amendment, what it says and what it does not say. it reads -- " the rights of citizens of the u.s. to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the u.s. or by any state, on account of theft. -- on account of sex." letting this sink in, when you think about the wording of the 19th amendment, as it applies to
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giving the right to vote to women, nowhere does it say guarantees the right to vote. that is a big difference, and it is achieving the right to vote for everybody. in this moment, states can still find ways through which to disenfranchise voters. this contemporary moment, there are laws out there that are seeking to disenfranchise voters. it is not as specific as we would like it to be. it would not be into the voting until the voting rights act
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that things became crystal clear, and people were guaranteed the right to vote. and not discriminated against based on race. i am standing in front of a portrait. she was forced to attend the carlisle boarding school, creating assimilation of native americans within white society, not allowing them to speak their native language, putting them into western dress, and so forth. she understood the culture of her native tribe, and also, she was able to bridge the gap, talking with white leaders. as a result, she was able to
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found the society of the american indian. this was an activist society that really promoted equal rights native americans. it was a long and lonely road for native americans. they were not even considered citizens until 1924. four years after the amendment granted the right to vote. that did not apply to native americans, and ever since, native american have had to continue to fight for their rights, including most recently in north dakota, when voted enfranchisement laws
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made it so that you cannot vote, unless you have a physical address. a lot of native americans living on reservations have po mailboxes. they are not allowed to vote under these current laws. if we continue -- i want to point out also citizens of the x, citizens of the u.s., including citizens of puerto rico. we are looking at a portrait made in 1992. she was quite elderly at this time, but elected as the first female governor and in 1932, she was a suffragette. she was advocating for the right to vote among the literate white women. in puerto rico.
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she was trying to advocate for suffrage. it was not until 1935 that women across puerto rico were given the right to vote. later on, she was elected as mayor of taiwan. -- the mayor of san juan, which she held that position for many terms. she is a really beloved figure. she is not the only suffragette from puerto rico. probably the most renowned suffragette, but we do not have a portrait of her. we could not get one in time for the exhibition, so this is a portrait from our own collection that we were able to use. finally, i am showing you a
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picture. she was the expert witness when there was a civil rights case against the ponca. she was able to help the native americans choose where to live. so they had them removed left and right, all over the place. the ponca was attempting to return to their homeland. in this case, she was able to make it into law, the right so that native americans could choose where they wanted to live. this is another example of an activist who was not single issue focused only on suffrage, but who was working all these other ways to help improve
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women's lives, the rights of women within their native communities who just did not have -- who were working towards a lot of different things coinciding with suffrage. right now we are looking at a portrait of the person who was a great activist, especially in the 1964 democratic convention. she gave a speech that galvanized the american public because it was televised. she said, i'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. that was alluding to her long struggle to have rights as an african-american in the u.s., so earlier, she had attempted to vote and she had actually been denied because she was
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illiterate. she had to give up going to school in order to help her family. she worked as a young woman and never learned how to read. this is an example of an activist whose words were spoken from the heart. she really had this immeasurable effect, influencing the american public at large because these things were televised. so, the voting rights act was signed, in part because of that convention, in which she played a role. signed by president johnson. i am also standing next to the portrait. a woman of color. she also had seen and witnessed the infringement of her
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citizenship right. part of her legacy is the voting rights act, but also title ix. which basically is the equal opportunity in education act, that a lot of women have done a fitted from. -- have benefited from. these two figures help take the story up to 1965 and even points beyond to how citizenship rights is an ongoing conversation, and how these activists, these women, really helped change and influence american law. i am so excited to have told you a little bit about this exhibition. and included six galleries and
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this long hallway and it was really covering the time from 19 funny but to also pointing to the events that happened after the passage of the 19th amendment. right up to the 1965 voting rights act. porches ofh the these women, what i am hoping people, way with -- through their portraits, is these women were empowering themselves and helped empower us today. they were looking at the past and looking at what had not been done. they had set out a task for themselves to change the united states constitution. they did it. and then they have set the example for us today to take our voting rights and to ensure that they are made sacred and that they were in -- they remain unquestioned and safeguarded for eternity, for american citizens. in this exhibition, not only are you learning history but i hope you were feeling empowered yourselves. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the
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national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> this was the second of a two-part tour of the votes for women exhibit marking the centennial of the 19th amendment. you can watch this and other american artifacts programs by visiting our website at c-span.org/history. every saturday at 8 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3 go inside a different college classroom and hear about topics ranging from the revolution, civil rights, and u.s. presidents to 9/11. >>thanks for your patience with most college campuses closed, watch professors transfer teaching to a virtual setting to engage with students. >> gorbachev did most of the work to change the soviet union. ,ut reagan met him halfway reagan encouraged him, reagan supported him. >> freedom of the press, i should just mentioned, madison called it freedom of the use of
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the press. and it is freedom to print things and publish things. it is not a freedom for what we now refer to as the press. >> lectures in history on american history tv on c-span 3 every saturday at 8 p.m. lectures in history is also available as a podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. ♪ >> you are watching american history tv, every weekend on c-span 3 explore our nation's past. -- created by america's cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. american history tv is on social media. follow us @c-span history. >> on august 18, 1920, tennessee became the 36 and last date
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needed to ratify the 30th amendment, granting the women -- granting women the right to vote. we are left tomorrow to mark the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage. the vice chair of the women's suffrage joined us to take viewer calls and tweets on the decades long fight to win the vote.

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