Sam Houston Memorial Museum Honors Women’s Suffrage Movement in Texas
June 15, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Story by Megan Buro
“Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas,” currently on display at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, is an exhibition produced by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Citizens at Last” is made possible in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 ended the woman suffrage movement and represented a great victory for American women in their quest for the right to vote as U.S. citizens. Texas was the first state in the South to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, a landmark moment for all who took place in the struggle for representation. “Citizens at Last” focuses on the twenty-seven-year campaign for woman suffrage in Texas with panel topics covering the national beginnings of the movement, early Texas leaders, anti-suffrage sentiments, efforts to amend the Texas Constitution, primary suffrage, and, finally, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Based on the book “Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas” and on an earlier exhibition of the same name by the Woman's Collection at Texas Woman's University Library, the exhibition uses archival photographs, newspaper clippings, cartoons, cards and texts to illustrate the struggle for woman suffrage in Texas.
“Last year was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, and I felt like ‘Citizens at Last’ was an important exhibit to bring, since one of Walker County’s own Minnie Fischer Cunningham was involved in the suffrage movement,” Curator of Exhibits Jude Routh said.
Cunningham was born in New Waverly, Texas and served as the Texas state suffrage president from 1915-1920.
“We have supplemented the exhibit with a specific display on Minnie Fisher Cunningham, which was curated by The Walker County Historical Commission,” Routh said. “We are proud to celebrate our local suffrage hero who tirelessly worked to bring about equality for all American women.”
The “Citizens at Last” exhibition and Fischer display will be available to the public from June 8 to August 8, 2021 in the exhibit gallery at the Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center, a part of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex in Huntsville, Texas.
Exhibit gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to make sure the exhibit gallery is open, contact the museum at 936.294.1832 or visit samhoustonmemorialmuseum.com.
Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, traveling exhibitions and documentary films. For more information, please visit Humanities Texas online at http://www.humanitiestexas.org or call 512.440.1991.
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