NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State leaders kicked off a yearlong celebration Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Tennessee and the history that gave the state the nickname 'The Perfect 36.'

The committee team for the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial held a program in downtown Nashville Monday highlighting the state's pivotal role as the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment.

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The program featured a portrayal of Rep. Harry T. Burn of McMinn County being the deciding vote for ratification.

On August 18, 1920, pro-suffrage activists gathered in Tennessee's House Chamber donning yellow roses after 35 states had previously ratified the 19th Amendment.

With eight states rejecting the amendment and the others not voting, suffragists saw Tennessee as the final hope to ratify the amendment before the 1920 presidential election.

After a hard fought battle for influence known as the 'War of the Roses' between pro-suffrage supporters wearing yellow roses and the opposition donning red roses, the measure was put to a vote that day with a seemingly even split among Tennessee's representatives.

Before the vote, Burn had receiving a letter from his mother, Febb Burn, which has been etched in history: "Hurrah and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt." 

Burn wore a red rose the day of the vote, but said that letter gave him the confidence to remember women when he ultimately flipped his vote in favor of the 19th Amendment. 

Over the weekend, Burn's great-grand nephew spoke about the historic vote.

"Without Tennessee in 1920, this amendment would've probably died and not been brought up for many years, so the great upper-south state of Tennessee put this amendment on top, and us Tennesseans are proud, especially us East Tennesseans," Tyler Boyd said.

Next year will officially mark 100 years since women won the right to vote. Gov. Bill Lee proclaimed Aug. 18, 2019 to Aug. 18, 2020 will be known as the Tennessee Women's Suffrage Centennial.  

You can learn more about Tennessee's role in Women's Suffrage at the Centennial's website.

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