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Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

Spotlight on the 19th Amendment

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Spring Street Museum’s new virtual exhibit celebrates centennial of women’s voting rights

A new virtual exhibit curated by the Spring Street Museum highlights Shreveport’s role in the ballot-box battle over women’s voting rights.

On Aug. 18, the United States will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The Spring Street Museum, a cultural outreach of LSU Shreveport, has assembled more than 100 artifacts to tell the story behind that historic moment.

The exhibit includes a section about Lavinia Hartwell Egan, a Shreveport woman at the forefront of the movement. Artifacts also trace the development of the women’s suffrage movement from its roots in the mid-19th century to its coordinated campaigns in the early 20th century.

“The virtual exhibit will be an interactive application with photos, embedded videos and embedded audio recordings from the Library of Congress,” said Spring Street Museum Curator Marty Loschen.

You can visit the exhibit from the safety of your home anytime by visiting the museum website exhibit page at https://springstreetmuseum.org/exhibits/.

Stroll by the museum at 525 Spring St. in Shreveport to view a window display that complements the online exhibit.

The museum remains closed because it can’t accommodate adequate social distancing. Loschen and Director Maria Markell continue working behind the scenes on projects like the women’s suffrage exhibit.

LSUS history professor Dr. Cheryl White says the exhibit sheds light on a significant chapter in American history. Dr. White is the interim academic director for the museum, which is a cultural outreach of LSU Shreveport.

“(This movement) is recent enough to make us ponder the slow nature of equality, yet distant enough to make us sometimes take such gains for granted,” said Dr. White. “I am hopeful this exhibit will especially encourage young women to appreciate the hard-won gains of just a few generations ago, and inspire them to be civically engaged, and to be advocates for their communities.”

Dr. White will share her perspective on the women’s suffrage movement in a video talk from the museum.

Even after Congress passed the 19th Amendment, women in Louisiana faced barriers before they could line up at the ballot box.

“The road to ratification was a bumpy one! Hearts and minds were changed by major world events happening just as women were claiming this equality under the law,” she said.

About the LSUS Foundation The LSUS Foundation promotes philanthropic support for LSUS programs and areas of study while recognizing the all-important growth and success of economic development in northwest Louisiana. The Spring Street Museum is owned and operated by the LSUS Foundation on behalf of LSU Shreveport.

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