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Votes for Women: History center to celebrate 19th Amendment centennial with virtual Smithsonian lecture

PITTSBURGH — In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the U.S., the Senator John Heinz History Center will virtually host “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” with the Smithsonian’s Kate Clarke Lemay at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens on the basis of sex.

Lemay is a historian at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and coordinating curator for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. Her lecture will explore the history and complexity of the national suffrage movement, focusing on under-recognized individuals and groups of the suffrage movement and examining how portraiture became a crucial element of women’s activism.

Admission is $5 at heinzhistorycenter.org/events.

This program is held in conjunction with the History Center’s Women Forging the Way initiative and the new Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh: Works from the National Portrait Gallery exhibition.

In addition, the African American Program of the center will host a virtual screening of “Dignity and Defiance: A Portrait of Mary Church Terrell” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Part of the 2020 From Slavery to Freedom Film Series, the film explores the life of Terrell and her lifelong fight for black women’s suffrage and civil rights. A conversation with Samuel W Black, director of the African American Program, and Robin Hamilton, the film’s producer, will follow the screening.

Admission is free, and advance registration is required at heinzhistorycenter.org/events.

The Women Forging the Way initiative focuses on elevating women’s history in 2020 and beyond through public programs, museum displays and digital storytelling.

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