200 Alabama Bicentennial

Celebrating Alabama’s 200th birthday2017 2018 2019

  • Letter from Booker T. Washington to John B. Knox, president of the constitutional convention.

    Enclosed with the letter is a petition "representing the feelings and wishes of the colored people of the State of Alabama" which Washington asks to be read during the convention.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 7 (Civics), 10, 12 (US Government)

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  • Letter from Carrie Chapman Catt in New York, to Charles H. Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Catt was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Miller was the 20th Senatorial District (Marengo County) delegate to the Alabama constitutional convention in 1901. In this letter she expresses her hope that women's suffrage will be addressed at the convention: "At this date, twenty-five States have extended to women some form of limited suffrage, and four have granted full suffrage on precisely the same qualifications as are required of male voters. We do not, therefore, ask your consideration of a new or untried proposition." Miller later voted in favor of a limited form of women's suffrage at the convention, but the measure did not pass.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 10, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • Excerpt from the 1901 Alabama Constitution.

    This excerpt includes Article VIII, Sections 177, 178, 180 through 183, 188, 194, and 195 of the constitution. Eligible voters include all males age 21 and older, but the constitution lays out a series of complex requirements that limit voting rights. Restrictions include paying a $1.50 annual poll tax, passing a literacy test, and meeting property ownership requirements, all of which were explicity designed to disfranchise African American males and poor white males.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 7 (Civics), 10, 12 (US Government)

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  • Voter registration certificate issued to W.E. Hayes of Dale County, Alabama.

    The certificate declares that Hayes "has become a Qualified Elector as provided by the Constitution." Such documents were issued to white males who might have been disqualified from voting by the requirements in the 1901 constitution; in many cases these men could be "grandfathered" in if they or their ancestors had served in the military, or if they were of "good character" and "understood the duties of citizenship."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 7 (Civics), 10, 12 (US Government)

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  • Flier from the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association, pointing out that Alabama is one of only 17 states where women cannot vote.

    The flier also argues out that this lack of rights puts women in a lesser class in society: "Who Can't Vote! Children, Insane, Idiots, Aliens, Criminals, and Women. Will out boasted Southern chivalry still class the women of Alabama with these?" The back lists quotes from prominent individuals supporting woman suffrage, including Abraham Lincoln and Jane Addams.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • Mobile, Alabama women registering to vote for the first time in history.

    Around two thousand women showed up the first day of voter registration. All of the women in the photo are white. At the time this image was taken, very few black men and almost no black women were registered to vote in Mobile. Women in Alabama only received the right to vote after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which Alabama did not ratify until 1953.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • Poll tax receipt issued to Rosa Boyle in Jefferson County, Alabama.

    The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified only two months before she paid her poll tax, which was $1.50 per year.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • Voting machine sample ballot for the Democratic primary and special election.

    This sample ballot for the first district of Alabama lists the candidates for the Democratic primary and gives instructions for operating the voting machine.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 7 (Civics), 12 (US Government)

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  • Maps showing demographic changes in Alabama and how they related to voting and legislative reapportionment.

    The maps include breakdowns of voters by race and county; the third map includes the number of white and African American voters for all counties. The fourth map shows the percentage of African American voters in each county. Other maps illustrate population growth in each county from 1860 to 1960.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • Photo of African American demonstrators outside the White House.

    The demonstrators are holding signs that read, "We demand the right to vote, everywhere," and "Stop brutality in Alabama," in response to police violence against voting rights marchers in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965, now known as Bloody Sunday.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • Woman preparing to vote at Hamner Hall in Montgomery, Alabama.

    A photograph taken at the same time appeared on page 6 of the Southern Courier for April 23-24, 1966; this image was used in the article "How to Vote by Machine" by Gail Falk, which appeared on page 4 of the Southern Courier for April 30-May 1, 1966.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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  • “Voter lists up by 31% after federal drive.”

    This article from the Birmingham News discusses the increase in the number of registered voters in Alabama following the Voting Rights Act of 1965: "It was an over-all gain of more than 31 per cent which affected the voter totals of virtually all counties, but especially the urban counties of Jefferson, Mobile and Montgomery and Black Belt counties where the increases invariably were more than 100 per cent... In 1964, the number of Negro voters in the state as a whole was estimated at about 96,000. The total is now estimated at 250,000." It includes a list comparing numbers of qualified voters in each county in 1964 and 1966.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 7 (Civics), 9, 11, 12 (US Government)

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