Posts focused on Women's History, stemming in part from the Museum's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, dominated readers' interest on the Museum's Stories blog this year. Eight out of the ten top posts were about women's history. But the history of pandemics and social justice were on everyone's minds as well, whether it was honoring the healthcare heroes of 1918, exploring the life of Ida B. Wells, or the ways we try to continue our annual traditions from behind our computers. Here are the Museum's top blog posts of 2020.
1. Who Was Edward Carmack, and Why Is There a Statue of Him at the State Capitol? - The toppling this summer of the statue of Carmack at the State Capitol raised interest in who he was and why he was memorialized. Curator Jim Hoobler offered some insight.
2. Artifacts Tell the Story of Pat Summitt’s Early Tennessee Life - Through Museum artifacts, Dakota Elliott explored the young Tennessee life of Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history.
3. Answering the Call: Nursing and the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 - Lisa Budreau, Ph.D. reminded us that while modern medicine was powerless against the flu pandemic that swept across the globe in 1918-19, killing millions, nurses were there to answer the call.
4. Shiloh: A Reflection through Artifacts - Unable to make his annual trip to Shiloh National Battlefield, curator Richard White walked us through the history of the Battlefield through the Museum's artifacts.
5. Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote Explores the History of Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee - The Museum announced the opening of its exhibition, Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote.
6. Pride and the Legacy of Penny Campbell - Dakota Elliott profiled Nashville LGBT and mental health advocate Penny Campbell, who was honored in 2017 with the first publicly sanctioned LGBTQ historical marker in the state of Tennessee.
7. From the Summer Institute: Three Events That Defined Ida B. Wells' Fight for Social Justice - Direct from the Museum's summer institute, educator Jennifer Watts offered an abridged version of her class on Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the journalist, Civil Rights pioneer and suffragist who began her career in Memphis.
8. Eliza Johnson: The Forgotten First Lady from Tennessee - It's been 155 years since Andrew Johnson was sworn in as President, yet his wife, First Lady Eliza Johnson, remains relatively absent from most Tennesseans’ historical memory. Matthew Gailani explored her history and considerable accomplishments.
9. 36 Stars, Millions of Stories: The National Woman's Party Ratification Flag - When the 19th Amendment was ratified by Tennessee on August 18, 1920, National Woman's Party president Alice Paul unfurled a 36-star flag off the Veranda of the Party's headquarters in Washington, D.C. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of that event, and the Museum's unfurling a replica of the flag, Museum executive director Ashley Howell offered some context on what that 36-star flag meant.
10. Embodying Suffrage: a Museum Educator's Research into Anne Dallas Dudley - What's it like to become a living history character? Jennifer Watts, who for years has dressed up as a suffragist, invites us into her story through the life of noted suffragist Anne Dallas Dudley.