94 years ago today, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was approved by Tennessee lawmakers - making Tennessee the 36th and final necessary state to ratify the amendment nationwide, and making women's suffrage a reality.
But not many people realize the passage of that amendment wouldn't have happened, were it not for a letter written by a mother from Niota, in McMinn County.
24-year-old Republican Harry T. Burn was Tennessee's elected state representative for McMinn County.
Burn had initially voted 'nay' against the amendment allowing women the right to vote. His constituents - like much of the country at the time - were bitterly divided on the issue. Not to mention he faced a re-election fight in the coming fall.
That in part led to his initial decision to vote to table the matter until the next session.
But that measure was defeated. And the following up-or-down vote led to a tie, at 48 votes for either side.
Harry later said that at that moment he was reminded of a letter that his mother, a strong-willed and well-read farmer's wife named Febb Ensminger Burn, had recently written him.
Mrs. Burn was well-versed on the issue of suffrage, and after reading several letters in newspapers on the "anti-" side, she decided to sit on her porch and write her son a letter.
The seven-page letter reads in part: "Dear Son, ... Hurray and vote for Suffrage and don't keep them in doubt....Don't forget to be a good boy...With lots of love, Mama."
Upon reflecting on the letter once again, when the time came to vote, Harry Burn nervously voted "Aye." That vote broke the tie, ratified the amendment, and made Tennessee the 36th & final state needed to guarantee the right to vote for women in the United States.
You can read more about Harry Burn and his history-making mother, here
. The image of Mrs. Burn we used for this story is taken from that page as well.