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‘Citizens at Last’ exhibit spotlights women’s suffrage

Suffragist Mary Eleanor Brackenridge was a chief figure in the women’s voting right movement in Texas. Courtesy photo

With the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, women finally received the right to vote.

It was a major milestone for the country, but it didn’t happen overnight.

Texas was the first Southern state to ratify the amendment, taking 27 years to get to that point.

To celebrate this historic event, the Llano County Historical Museum is hosting the traveling exhibit “Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas,” which looks at the more than two decades of efforts leading up to the decision that gave women the right to vote.

The exhibit runs August 21-September 14 at the museum, 310 Bessemer in Llano. The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

On Saturday, August 24, the museum hosts The Women’s Suffrage Movement Luncheon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Llano Independent School District Community Room, 1400 Oatman Drive in Llano. Tickets for the luncheon are $15 and available at the museum and the Llano Visitor Center, 100 Train Station Drive.

The “Citizens at Last” exhibit examines the 27 years of work suffrage supporters poured into the state of Texas. The program is based on the book by the same name and previous exhibits.

The latest exhibit tells the story of the suffrage movement in Texas through archival photographs, newspaper clippings, cartoons, cards, and text. It covers the movement’s national and Texas beginnings, early Texas leaders, suffragist Mary Eleanor Brackenridge, anti-suffrage sentiments, public crusaders, and Texas’ ratification of the 19th Amendment.

The program is made possible in part by We the People, a grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In connection with the exhibit, the Llano County Library is holding a free screening of “Iron Jawed Angels” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, August 23. The 2004 film, starring Hilary Swank as suffragist leader Alice Paul, is a historical drama focusing on the suffrage movement in the 1910s. It focuses on Paul and Lucy Barns, played by Frances O’Connor in the movie, as they used peaceful yet effective methods to push for a woman’s right to vote.

The library is located at 102 East Haynie St. in Llano.

Email the museum at llanohistoricalmuseum@gmail.com for more information on the exhibit or to schedule a visit if you have a group of 10 or more people.

editor@thepicayune.com

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