Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Happy Ratification Day!

Happy Ratification Day!

Today we celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the great state of Tennessee!  In what was to be a bitter fight between "Suffs" and "Antis", the great "War of the Roses" commenced in Tennessee.  Those who favored suffrage wore yellow roses in their lapels and those opposed to women's suffrage wore red roses.  The vote came down to one young man, 24 year old Harry Burns and ultimately his mother, Febb Ensminger Burns.

Burns was a young freshman representative.  He had a red rose in his lapel, signaling the wishes of his constituents.  He was up for reelection in a few months and like all politicians, he wanted to remain in office.  What no one could have anticipated was the impact of his mother, in particular a letter from his mother.  In it she had written:

"Hurrah, and vote for suffrage!  Don't keep them in doubt.  I notice some of the speeches against.  They were bitter.  I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet...  Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt with her 'Rata'."

The vote was tied and it came down to one young man.  Harry Burns voted in favor of the amendment and history in our country was made.
Febb Ensminger Burns (1873-1945)
Thank you Febb for raising a good boy who was strong enough to do what was right even if it was unpopular!

Burns' decision changed the course of women's history in this country.  We celebrate him and Mama Febb!

Libby from Tennessee has written me that there are a lot of celebrations going on in Tennessee this month.  Harry and Febb's legacy continues.  Just look at these strong and self-confident little girls!

Tennessee Ladies celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment at a local venue.

Alice Paul unfurls the suffrage banner with a perfect 36th state.
Thank you Tennessee!

And now, we announce the winners of the Suffrage Centennial Quilt Challenge!  Beth and I were so touched at the amount of research done by each of the participants that in an unprecedented move, we chose to honor each quilt as a winner.

Ladies, please email me your address (to allentownquilter@gmail.com)  so Beth and I can mail your $50 gift cards and thank you for your participation!  We know that it wasn't easy considering all the challenges during the pandemic and appreciate your efforts so much!

To all of you, I wish you the happiest Ratification Day!


  1. All the quilts were impressive.  What an honor!  Thank you.

  2. I'm sorry to be delayed in commenting, Michele! Thank you so much! I am so happy to have had a chance to participate in your year-long celebration. It seems fitting that we get to vote this year, and also sobering to realize that in many ways, we're still fighting for the right to vote.