NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you had to give the name of a building in downtown Nashville, chances are your first thought would be "The Batman Building." Amazon has just announced the names of their two new Nashville towers, and they hope you'll remember them as well. Both honor important women in Tennessee history.
"Everyone wore 'Votes for Women' buttons or sashes," said historian David Ewing, showing a large arrangement of buttons from the 1910s. "This was a very common button used in that period of time."
Over 25 years, Ewing has collected items linked to the fight involved in getting women the right to vote.
"I have been interested in this movement," he said.
That interest is why he so deeply appreciates the names Amazon has just announced for its two Nashville towers. The completed tower is named Anne. The one next to it still under construction is Juno. Anne and Juno. What's the significance of those names?
"In 1911, Anne Dallas Dudley founded the Nashville Equal Suffrage League," Ewing said. "In 1914, she led the first women's suffrage parades in the south. When the march came to the Parthenon, there were 2,000 people there waiting to hear Anne Dallas Dudley speak."
Juno Frankie Pierce opened a school for Black girls in 1923, but years before that she was also a major force in the women's suffrage movement. Pierce spoke at the 1920 convention of the Tennessee League of Women Voters.
"On August 18, 1920, the Tennessee legislature ratified the 19th Amendment by one single vote," Ewing said.
The ties to women's history don't end there. These new Amazon buildings are at the site of what was once the Nashville Female Academy, which opened in the early 1800s.
"It was important to us to find building names that really resonate with the community that is in line with the rich history here," said Divina Mims of Amazon.
"It is fitting these two towers stand side by side, one of a white woman who led the suffrage movement, Anne Dallas Dudley, and the other the African American woman, Juno Frankie Pierce," said Ewing. "That's two women who worked side by side. I hope Nashvillians will also embrace Anne and Juno."