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Spruill to Speak on 19th Amendment for Nov. 10 University Forum Online

Tue, 11/03/2020 - 15:11pm | By: David Tisdale

Dr. Marjorie SpruillAs the nation awaits the final results of one of the most highly anticipated elections in its history, it also marks an important anniversary in the expansion of the right to choose its leaders.

Dr. Marjorie Spruill, a historian acclaimed for her work on the American women’s rights movement, will talk about that milestone in U.S. history when she presents “Votes for Women: The Story of the 19th Amendment” Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. for The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) University Forum Online.

This online event, rescheduled from the spring to a virtual format because of Covid-19 restrictions, is free and open to the public. For information on how to access Dr. Spruill’s presentation, visit

Dr. Spruill is a former USM history professor who also served as University Forum director from 1986 to 2000. She is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina. Her book, New Women of the New South: The Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States, explores the lives of 11 of the most prominent leaders of the women’s suffrage movement and their views on race and states’ rights.

“I’m looking forward to presenting for University Forum about how women won the 19th Amendment,” Dr. Spruill said. “It is a pleasure to again be a part of University Forum, which was an important part of my life and work for 13 years. I only wish I could be there in person and see old friends.”

Dr. Spruill’s most recent book, Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights, delves into the rise of the modern women’s rights movement in the 1970s and the roots of the polarized politics of today.

“On Nov. 3, millions of Americans will vote and more than half will be women,” said Dr. Andrew Haley, director of University Forum Online. “Dr. Spruill’s work explores the struggle that women undertook to secure the right to vote in 1920, and the ways in which women’s political participation throughout the 20th century sparked controversy and division.

“We were all disappointed when Covid-19 forced the cancellation of Dr. Spruill’s scheduled presentation last spring, but her visit on Nov. 10, a week after the 2020 Presidential election, could not be timelier.”

University Forum Online is presented by the USM Honors College. Learn more about the Honors College