Tuesday, September 24, is National Voter Registration Day. Secretary of State John Thurston encourages all Arkansans of voting age to be sure and register to vote. Of Arkansas’ over 3 million residents, there are currently 1,721,116 registered voters. “Voting is the bedrock of our constitutional republic; but in order to vote, you must be registered. I encourage every Arkansan to participate in the process. Many Americans literally fought and died for the privilege,” Secretary Thurston stated.
To mark the occasion, the Arkansas State Capitol debuts its fall display, “Our Rightful Place: Arkansas, Suffrage and the 19th Amendment.” The exhibit uses graphics created over nearly two centuries and drawn from assorted archives to present an impressionistic survey of American women’s quest for full participatory citizenship. An artist’s vision of women voting in 18th-century New Jersey reminds viewers that in several of the original thirteen states women enjoyed the franchise…until it was taken from them through revisions of their respective state constitutions. Cartoons from Puck, the nation’s first magazine of satire and humor, are highlighted as well as prominent individuals and activists credited with propelling the movement forward.
“Our Rightful Place” was created in cooperation with the Arkansas Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Committee, a body charged by Governor Asa Hutchinson with promoting state wide recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage through encouraging civic, historical, educational, economic, and other organizations across the state to organize and participate in activities to expand the understanding of women’s suffrage.
The exhibit will remain on display through November 17. It may be viewed during the Capitol’s open hours: 7 AM to 5 PM weekdays, 10 AM to 3 PM on weekends.