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    Visionary Leader

    Social Reformer

    Women's Rights Advocate

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Women and Prohibition: A War of Mothers and Daughters, Sisters and Wives

Women and Prohibition is a new exhibit at the Frances Willard House Museum that highlights the work of women to expand their public lives, advocate for themselves, and protect their families from the serious problems that alcohol can cause. Visitors can learn how women acted in the political arena before they were able to vote and how they worked to gain the vote to extend their reach. This exhibit is part of our ongoing recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 18th (Prohibition) Amendment.

Women and Prohibition will open Thursday, September 5, 2019. The museum is open Thursdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. and admission is $10 ($5 for students).

This exhibit is a companion to two exhibits at the Evanston History Center – Dry Evanston: the Untold Story (up through January 2020) and Spirited: Prohibition in America (up through October 20, 2019). Special joint tours of the Willard House and the Dawes House are offered in conjunction with these exhibits. Purchase an admission to either museum to receive your coupon for half-off tours at the other museum. 

New “Past is Present” Blog Posts 

To learn more about how historic issues are connected to current events, check out recent posts in our new series, The Past is Present. Equal Pay for Equal Work by Elisabeth Hagemann, FWHM Collections and Development Intern, discusses Equal Pay Day and its link to Frances Willard and the WCTU. The Silent Steed So Swift and Blithesome by Cate LiaBraaten, FWHM Museum Operations Manager, shares the history of bicycling for women. You can find posts at this link.

Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

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A Community History Project of the Frances Willard House Museum and Archives

In the 1890s, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union President Frances Willard and journalist and activist Ida B. Wells fought a war of words in the international press over Willard’s lack of public support for Wells’ anti-lynching campaign. Wells called Willard’s moral leadership into question and demanded that Willard and the WCTU join her anti-lynching campaign. Under Willard’s leadership, the WCTU eventually passed resolutions opposing lynching, but Willard’s language and actions complicate her legacy.

Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells is a community history project that explores this conflict. The project includes a digital exhibit of original archival sources, community conversations, and public programs. The goal of the project is to uncover the full truth of the conflict, and explore its many meanings and ramifications for our world today. 

To visit the new website, click here.

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