Secondary Source

Southern Myths and the Nineteenth Amendment: The Participation of Nashville Newspaper Publishers in the Final State’s Ratification

Jane Marcellus, Journalism and Mass Comm Quarterly, Summer 2010

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Newspapers

In 1920, Tennessee became the final state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which eliminated sex restriction on voting rights. This article uses the concept of myth to examine how Nashville newspapers made suffrage part of the discursive battle for regional identity. While the Nashville Banner amplified the anti-suffragists’ “Old South” propaganda of the Lost Cause and southern honor, the Nashville Tennessean grounded its coverage in the national, progressive focus in the myth of the “New South.” The publishers of both newspapers became participants in the political contest, thus taking their positions beyond the pages of their respective publications.

Open source access: Jane Marcellus, Journalism and Mass Comm Quarterly, Summer 2010

You can find out more about Marcellus’ work on her website.

Digital archives for the Nashville Tennessean are available here, via There is no known digital archive of suffrage-era issues of the Nashville Banner. The Nashville Public Library on Church Street has the fullest archive of this defunct newspaper and may be viewed in the library. Contact the library to inquire about specific requests.  DOI:10.1177/107769901008700202

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