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Triumph and Tragedy: Voting Rights (NHD @ the National Museum of American History)

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Civics +1 Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection includes objects and resources related to founding of the American system of democracy and those who have and have not been eligible to  vote. When it was established, the United States of America boasted more eligible voters than ever before. But it was still just a fraction of the new country’s population. The nation’s founders never envisioned the numbers, classes, sexes, and races of Americans that cast ballots each Election Day. Throughout American history, voting rights have expanded, contracted, and expanded again as Americans dealt with shifting issues of politics, race, class, and wealth. 

Additional resources on this topic can be found by visiting the National Museum of American History's online exhibitions at AmericanHistory.si.edu and History Explorer at HistoryExplorer.si.edu

Each National History Day collection from the National Museum of American History includes selected resources to support NHD projects under the 2019 theme - Triumph and Tragedy. This collection is by no means comprehensive, but should be used as a place of inspiration for new projects or source of additional information for ones already in the works.

#NHD2019 #NHD

Eagle Figure

National Museum of American History

Constitutional Convention Box

National Museum of American History

Electoral Ticket, 1789

National Museum of American History

Ballot box, late 19th century

National Museum of American History

The Acme Ballot Box, 1880

National Museum of American History

Voting Machine, 1898

National Museum of American History

Votomatic Voting Machine, 2000

National Museum of American History

The Common Man

NMAH Education

Free Suffrage Cane, 1820

National Museum of American History

Land Grant, Nicholas Hilton

National Museum of American History

15th Amendment

NMAH Education

Emancipation Proclamation Inkstand

National Museum of American History

1867 Ballot

National Museum of American History

The Fifteenth Amendment Celebrated May 19th, 1870

National Museum of American History

15th Amendment Pen

National Museum of American History

Button, One Man One Vote

National Museum of American History

Voter Registration Application, 1955-1965

National Museum of American History

Pen used by Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the 1965 Voting Rights Act

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Poster, "Hands that Pick Cotton", 1972

National Museum of American History

19th Amendment

NMAH Education

Woman Suffrage Banner, 1914-1917

National Museum of American History

Button, “Votes for Women”

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Fan

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Wagon

National Museum of American History

19th Amendment Pen

National Museum of American History

19th Amendment Ratification Pen

National Museum of American History

The Suffragist, June 14, 1919

National Museum of American History

Poster, "Rise Up Women", 1972

National Museum of American History

23rd Amendment

NMAH Education

"We Want to Vote" Lapel Pin

National Museum of American History

Bumper Sticker, D.C. Voting Rights

National Museum of American History

Bumper Sticker, "Taxation Without Representation"

National Museum of American History

D.C. Board of Elections Ballot Box

National Museum of American History

1964 Presidential Election Ballot

National Museum of American History

26th Amendment

NMAH Education

Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote

National Museum of American History

26th Amendment Ratification Form

National Museum of American History

Newsweek, October 25, 1971

National Museum of American History

Nixon Campaign Button, 1972

National Museum of American History

Button, "Adult 18"

National Museum of American History

Poster, "The Student Vote", 1972

National Museum of American History

Youth Vote Shoes, 1970s

National Museum of American History

Youth Vote Trousers, 1970s

National Museum of American History

Youth Vote Button

National Museum of American History

Native Americans

NMAH Education

Bumper Sticker, "Elect an Indian"

National Museum of American History

Poster, “Register and Vote”, 1972

National Museum of American History

Restoring the Vote

NMAH Education

Button, "Restore Voting Rights"

National Museum of American History

Button, "Restore the Vote MN"

National Museum of American History

Info Card, "Every Vote and Voice Counts", 2014

National Museum of American History

Secondary Sources

NMAH Education

Vote: The Machinery of Democracy Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access