Nashville Public Library Votes For Women exhibit displays who paved the way for Kamala Harris

The 19th Amendment was passed 100 years ago today, officially granting women the right to vote
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 21:34:12-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President, she became the first woman to do so.

"Change is sometimes slow," said Margaret Behm. "It has to be hard-fought, and I think that's why it is so significant."

Margaret Behm, a longtime lawyer in Nashville, helped open the Votes For Women exhibit at the Nashville Public Library. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.

"It's an exciting day because all of the work of the women in this room culminated into today," said Behm.

Jeanie Nelson worked with Behm to open the exhibit last year.

"This room itself is to celebrate what took place in Nashville and Tennessee to bring the vote to fruition," Jeanie Nelson said.

The women acknowledged how long it has taken for a woman to be sworn-in on Inauguration Day.

"Our culture has needed to come along in so many foundational ways to get it so it could actually accept... it could actually look at a woman this high in leadership in our country," Nelson said.

They said so many have made it possible for Kamala Harris to be called Madam Vice President, now in 2021.

"We have to remember the women and men that came before us, who made it happen," Behm said.

The exhibit at the downtown library even chronicles the progress at the local level.

"A little over a year ago, our council, our 40 member council became 50% women, and they are leaders. They are just forces of nature, and I have so much respect for them and the way they are uniting with their male colleagues to move this city forward in an unbelievable way," Nelson said.

Kamala Harris' inauguration, the women believe, will help women reach new heights in general.

"It's going to make all the other young women and CEO women be in a different place than they would be... I hope they will feel that pride for our country, that this is a really big deal, a really big symbol of change," Nelson said.