News & Events

Upcoming Events

Truth Telling Curator’s Talk at Willard House

In the 1890s, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) 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. At the time, Willard was a world famous social reformer but while working to expand the WCTU, especially in the south, she used language that was demeaning and incendiary toward black Americans. 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.

On Thursday November 21, 2019 from 6-7 p.m., the Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives will host a curator’s talk with Ella Wagner, the primary designer of the Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells website. The website explores the conflict between Willard and Wells through archival sources and documentary essays with the ultimate goal of uncovering the full truth of the conflict and its many meanings in our world today. The talk will include an overview of the exhibit and its development, a detailed look at some of the archival sources, and additional background and insight into the conflict.

This event will take place at the Willard House and is free to the public. Reservations are recommended as space is limited. RSVP at this link or call 847-328-7500.  

Truth Telling Project Sponsors include: Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership, Loyola University Chicago; Department of History, Loyola University Chicago; and Department of History, Northwestern University.

News

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

Women and Prohibition will open Thursday, September 5, 2019. The museum is open 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.

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, please click here.

Thank you to our 2019 Do Everything! Open House Sponsors!

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