Alcatraz East highlights 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage amendment 

Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O'Neal)
Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O'Neal)

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August 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. By decriminalizing the actions of women across the country who had been attempting to vote, this constitutional amendment was a significant moment in our legal history.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum commemorates not only this anniversary in legal history but Tennessee’s role as the final state to ratify the amendment making it law on August 18, 1920. Starting August 18 visitors will be able to learn about the women’s suffrage movement and Tennessee’s role in a pop-up display in the lobby of the museum.

“As a legal story, a crime story, and as a Tennessee story it was important for us to mark this centennial,” says Rachael Penman director of artifacts and exhibits at Alcatraz East. “It’s amazing to think Susan B. Anthony was arrested for an act that we later honored her for on our money.”

Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election and was arrested, tried, and convicted for illegally casting her ballot. She spent most of her life fighting for women to have the right to vote, and never lived to see that day come. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and many others fought for suffrage for decades giving speeches, lobbying, marching, picketing and engaging in civil disobedience to bring attention to the cause. Many of them were arrested and spent time in prison, including Paul who received a seven-month sentence.  

Tennessee played a major role in advancing the right for women to vote. On August 18, 1920, it became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, giving the country the three fourths of the states needed for it to become law of the land forever.

“What these women went through and suffered in prison for is an important part of the story to remember,” added Penman. “With the anniversary we wanted to honor these women who were considered criminals for wanting to vote.” 

The new pop up on the 19th Amendment is now on display and will be in the Alcatraz East Crime Museum lobby through Election Day on November 3, 2020. 

Read More: Alcatraz East review: A fascinating crime museum with little on Alcatraz

Alcatraz East’s new health and safety measures 

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has COVID-19 safety measures in place including a new “police” mascot called “Doc” (law enforcement lingo for Department of Corrections). Throughout the museum, visitors will see signage and friendly safety reminders from Doc. The museum’s updated safety measures include reduced hours, enhanced cleaning, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screenings and employee PPE. 

Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules prior to their visit on their web page devoted to COVID-19: https://www.alcatrazeast.com/covid-19/.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden; Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief; and Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com. Please check out our traveling safe page with more safety tips and information: www.crimemuseum.org/help-the-missing/missing-persons/.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime!

This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children and $26.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. Guests are encouraged to check the website prior to visiting for reduced hours, as a result of COVID-19. The last ticket is sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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