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Citizens At Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas

At this time of equal rights, many persons may find it hard to believe that women gained the right to vote through a four-decade-long struggle and the eventual ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. During the month of May, 2011, the Rosenberg Library presented the traveling display, Citizens At Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas, which was originally created in honor of the 75th anniversary of this monumental event. This 12 panel display was made by the Women’s Collection of Texas Women’s University to address the history of women’s struggle for equality in Texas through historical photographs, newspaper clippings, cards, cartoons, and text. This program was made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On Saturday, May 21, 2011, Rosenberg Library held a reception in the historic Fox Room for the Citizens at Last traveling display. As part of this celebration, Dr. Elizabeth Hayes Turner, Professor of the Department of History, University of North Texas, was invited to speak on women’s suffrage in Texas. After her presentation, a panel discussion featuring Dr. Turner and special guests representing the League of Women Voters and former city officials explored Galveston’s role in the woman’s right to vote. This event was free and open to the general public.

Dr. Turner is the author of Women and Gender in the New South, 1865 - 1945 (2009), and Women, Culture and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880 - 1920 (1997). With Patricia Bellis Bixel, she co-authored Galveston and the 1900 Storm: Catastrophe and Catalyst. Dr. Turner also has numerous other publications and has presented many professional papers. Her research specialties include Southern women, New South, Progressivism, and urban history (particularly Galveston).