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Church Library News - March 2020

According to Smithsonian Magazine, in 2014, there were 72,197 centenarians (at least 100 years old) living in the United States. Today, that number is estimated to be pushing 80,000. In the context of this Women’s History Month, that means that there are still many Americans who were born before women won the right to vote, with the August 18, 1920, ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It is easy to take that achievement for granted, now, though it took place only one long lifetime ago, and though women still face inequalities. So it’s worthwhile to look back at the women’s suffrage movement, through two new books:

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, by Elaine Weiss - “Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have approved the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote; one last state--Tennessee--is needed for women's voting rights to be the law of the land. The suffragists face vicious opposition from politicians, clergy, corporations, and racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the nation's moral collapse. And in one hot summer, they all converge for a confrontation, replete with booze and blackmail, betrayal and courage…The Woman's Hour is the gripping story of how America's women won their own freedom, and the opening campaign in the great 20th Century battles for civil rights.” -

Votes For Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle For the Ballot, by Winifred Conkling - “For nearly 150 years, American women did not have the right to vote…To achieve that victory, some of the fiercest, most passionate women in history marched (and) protested —for more than eight decades. From Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who founded the suffrage movement at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, to Sojourner Truth and her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, to Alice Paul, arrested and force-fed in prison, this is the story of the American women’s suffrage movement and the private lives that fueled its leaders’ dedication.” - from the jacket cover

Don’t forget that the Virginia Festival of the Book takes place March 18-22, in Charlottesville. For more information, go to


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