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Historical posters show the arguments for women's suffrage

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  August 28, 2013 09:15 AM

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It is a big week for civil rights milestones. Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (which Ideas wrote about on Sunday), while Monday was the 93rd anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, being incorporated into the Constitution. To celebrate the latter achievement, the Schlesinger Library at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute, has been promoting its recently digitized collection of posters from the women's suffrage movement. The posters are interesting in lots of ways, including the glimpse they provide into the range of arguments that activists used to earn women the right to vote. As you can see in the images below, these include the argument that all the other states are doing it, and so should yours; the idea that men and women deserve equal access to good things like voting; and emotional appeals to women's roles as mothers.

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You can see more poster images on the Schlesinger Library's digital catalog and on Flickr.

Images courtesy of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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