The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting the right of women to vote.

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources celebrates this milestone with “She Changed the World: North Carolina Women Breaking Barriers,” a series of public programs and activities to honor the achievements of women in our state.

As part of this initiative, the State Archives of North Carolina will tour “An Absolute Moral Certainty: The Woman Suffrage Movement in North Carolina” — an exhibit of original archival documents and materials relating to suffrage, including a copy of the 19th Amendment sent to North Carolina for ratification in June of 1919. This document — along with pro- and anti-suffrage propaganda, hand-held fans, facsimiles of legislation, political cartoons, and a suffragist’s sash — will travel the state from through November 2020.

“The State Archives holds materials that document the history and development of North Carolina,” said Sarah Koonts, state archivist. “Our copy of the 19th Amendment is kept in our climate-controlled vault, and we don’t often travel it. This exhibit provides an opportunity to see it and some of the other history-making documents we preserve.”

The exhibit will travel to public libraries, colleges, historic sites, museums, and universities across the state. It opens at the Southern Pines Public Library on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room. Educators from the State Archives will be on hand throughout the day to explain the exhibit.

A special Preschool Stories program about voting will take place at 10:30 a.m. for children ages 3-5 and their families, with members from the League of Women Voters of Moore County appearing in period costume. In addition, activities and displays will be available throughout the library throughout the day. At 2:30 p.m., the film “Iron-Jawed Angels” will be shown at the Sunrise Theater (free tickets are available at The Country Bookshop and Sandhills Winery), and at 4:45 p.m. the Suffragist March will head from the Sunrise Theater to the Jefferson Inn for a reception. Visit the library’s website for more information about this and other upcoming events. The exhibit’s full touring schedule can be viewed online at the State Archives of North Carolina, along with WUNC-TV’s brief film about the exhibit and documents.
Learn more about the “She Changed the World” series of programs including demonstration projects, lectures, and online resources featuring photographs and stories of women who have helped shape the story of North Carolina.

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