Unveiling of suffrage commemorative mural delayed
Oct. 7, 2020 – The Centennial Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Johnson City is postponing the unveiling of a commemorative mural, originally scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 10) due to a weather forecast indicating the potential for strong winds and heavy rain. The mural will be presented to the City of Johnson City at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Johnson City was a central hub of suffrage activism/organizing activities and an integral part of a national movement for women’s enfranchisement in the early 1900s, hosting a statewide meeting of the Tennessee Congressional Union Party at 113 Spring St. in 1917.
Inspired by the 1913 Washington, D.C. suffragist parade, Johnson City suffragist Eliza Shaut White led a parade supporting women’s suffrage through downtown Johnson City on Oct. 7, 1916. Following White on her horse were several automobiles and a drum and fife band from Mountain Home. The event ended in a pro-suffrage rally near Fountain Square.
To recognize the Johnson Citians who fought for suffrage and to honor all those who passed the torch for voting rights to other disenfranchised Americans throughout history, the Centennial Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Johnson City has commissioned a mural by artist Ellen Elmes. Located at 400 Buffalo St. (facing Ashe Street), the mural commemorates this centennial anniversary through the depiction of a diverse and cohesive movement that continues to impact the social standing of women in our society today.
The unveiling ceremony will be livestreamed from the Centennial Suffrage Celebration Coalition’s Facebook page (@jctnsuffrage). Those in attendance will be required to follow CDC and local health guidelines, including maintaining proper social distance.
This project was funded by donations from the community to the Coalition, Bravissima! Women Sponsoring the Arts!, and Johnson City Public Arts. In-kind sponsorship was provided by the East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum and the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement. More information concerning the mural can be found at the Coalition web site: www.jctnsuffrage.org.