Women’s History Lecture Series

“Women Lead the Way”

Women Lead The Way

Join The Friends and Professor Jill Zahniser for a series of lectures on women’s history

Jill Zahniser  is an independent scholar who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She has taught at the Universities of Iowa and Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Dr. Zahniser is the co-author of the book, Alice Paul: Claiming Power. She also wrote And Then She Said, quotations by women. She resides on the West Side of Saint Paul.


All events will be held at Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul.

Tuesday, November 15, 7 p.m.
Sacajawea of the Shoshone: The Myths and the Reality
The American historical memory of Shoshone guide Sacajawea has long been rife with myths and distortions. Find out what historians have now unearthed about her life and legend and what they now believe about this woman of mystery.
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Tuesday, November 22, 7 p.m.
Ida B. Wells and Her Campaign Against Lynching: The First Black Lives Matter Movement
Ida B. Wells, later Wells-Barnett—activist, feminist, crusading journalist—played a key role in African Americans’ struggles against the Jim Crow laws and virulent racism of the early 20th century. Discover Wells’ story, her successes and failures, and how she led the way for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
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Tuesday, November 29, 7 p.m.
The First Female President?: The Presidential Campaigns of Victoria Woodhull, Shirley Chisholm, and More
Free love: Did you know that the first woman who ran for president of the United States, more than a century ago, campaigned on a platform of free love? Find out about the groundbreaking women who—before Hillary Clinton—wanted to be president and how close they came to the highest office in the land.
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2015 Series Recap: Visions of Courage

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

Myths about Harriet Tubman persist, but the realities of her life are even more fascinating. Learn what we know now about Tubman’s life and legacy and about her role in the Underground Railroad.

Listen to Podcast >>Podcast Icon-01-01 |  Download PowerPoint (© 2015 Jill Zahniser) >>


Sarah Colvin, Clara Ueland and Minnesota Women’s Battle for the Ballot

Minnesota suffragists were a civilized contrast to the discord which marked the American suffrage movement. We will discuss how women like Colvin and Ueland found ways to work together to win the vote and contribute to the national suffrage victory.

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Sisterhood is (Again) Powerful:  The 1970s Emergence of the Women’s Liberation Movement  

Fifty years after women won the vote, feminism once again grabbed public attention in the 1970s.  A wide diversity of women began to advocate for equality under the law, in public and private life. Initially ridiculed, “women’s lib” ended up remaking America.

Podcast Icon-01-01 Listen to the Podcast >> |  Download PowerPoint (© 2015 Jill Zahniser) >>


Striving for Equality: Mexican Women in Minnesota History

Mexican women helped shape their expatriate communities in Minnesota from the mid-20th century onward. Discover the important ways they fought for respect and equal treatment in the Twin Cities and in outstate Minnesota.

Podcast Icon-01-01Listen to the Podcast >> |  Download PowerPoint (© 2015 Jill Zahniser) >>

Check it Out at the Library-01

Use library resources to learn more about these lecture topics – download the suggested reading list.