Also known as the War of the Roses, the battle for ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote would come down to a vote by the Tennessee Legislature on August 18th, 1920.

With anti-suffrage proponents and what appeared to be a majority of state legislators wearing red roses to signify their opposition to ratifying the 19th Amendment, including Tennessee's youngest legislator, Harry Burn, there were serious doubts the amendment would pass.

With thirty-five states have already voted to pass the amendment only one more state was needed to ensure the amendment would become law.

Blue Shoe Nashville cited in their Winter 2018 Travel Guide that reporters from Washington, New York, and Chicago had congregated in Nashville waiting to see how the vote would go.

It appeared the 19th amendment would fail 49-47

Those who supported the 19th Amendment wore yellow roses and reporters wrote that tensions were high on both sides of the issue. The National Suffrage Leader, Carrie Chapman Catt had arrived months earlier spearheading a letter-writing drive encouraging women from all economic and social backgrounds across the state to encourage their representatives to vote for the amendment's passage but the number of legislators wearing red roses seemed overwhelming.

The amendment had already passed in the Senate but had been stalled in the Tennessee House of Representatives for months as cited in History Stories.

In the first of two surprise moves, with first roll call Representative Banks Turner sided with the Suffragists and voted in support of the amendment and the vote was tied.

The good and loyal son

Everyone was convinced that during the last and final roll call by the House Speaker for a ratification vote nothing would change and the deadlock would remain, ending the hope of Suffragists that women across the U.S.

would ever secure the right to vote. Harry Burn had voted against the amendment during earlier roll calls that day and still wearing the red boutonniere when his name was called for the final roll call, it was assumed by the majority of lawmakers that the twenty-four-year-old would once again vote no.

Instead, Burn blurted out a quick "aye" that broke the tie and gave women the right to vote after half a century of tireless campaigning.

The next day when asked by the House of Representatives why he had changed his vote to support a woman's right to vote, yet had still been sporting his red rose, Harry Burn acknowledged that he had also been carrying a telegraph his mother had sent from East Tennessee prior to his final vote encouraging him to do the right thing by voting for the amendment and felt it was safer for a young man to do as his mother wished.