Nashville in the 1920s and 1930s
Post-war optimism and prosperity carried Nashville along on its wave of progress. In August 1920, the Tennessee State Legislature voted to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
Panel 1 depicts a local rally of Tennessee women from Nashville and Chattanooga who led the fight for voting rights and helped Tennessee become the swing-vote state.
Panel 2 is a panoramic view of the handsome War Memorial building erected in 1925. The statue of Victory in its open courtyard is by Tennessee's most famous woman sculptor, Belle Kinney Scholz.
Panel 3 shows the Nashville to Franklin inter-urban railroad, Tennessee's first commuter train.
Panel 4 is a panoply of stars from the Grand Ole Opry. From left: Hank Williams, Deford Bailey (the first African-American performer), Minnie Pearl, Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys. The Opry originated in 1925 as a live show on WSM), a radio station owned by the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, with call letters representing their slogan "We Shield Millions." In 1943, the Opry took the stage at the old Ryman Auditorium, where the variety of performers once had ranged from Opera stars to the Ziegfield Follies.
Panel 5 portrays the Great Depression in simple graphic images: a worn-out car mired in mud and a WPA laborer trying to shovel it out. With the collapse of banks and financial markets and the state and local governments nearly bankrupt, Tennesseans were grateful for assistance from government programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Alcove 14: Building the Modern City