Women in History

Sue Shelton White was one of the more militant members of the women’s suffrage movement. Born in Henderson, Tennessee, White graduated from college and was one of the first women court reporters. She helped organize the Jackson Equal suffrage League. White decided that the more radical suffrage group, the National Woman’s Party (NWP), was more effective and joined that party in 1918. She participated in a suffrage demonstration in front of the White House which burned the words of a pledge to help women get the right to vote that President Woodrow Wilson made and didn’t fulfill. She was arrested and spent five days in jail. White also came to Nashville during the vote on the 19th amendment and lobbied lawmakers. After the amendment was passed, White earned her law degree and worked for Senator Kenneth McKellar from Tennessee. She later worked as an attorney for Franklin Roosevelt’s administration to help implement the Social Security Act.