Exhibits Highlight History of Women in Montana Politics

February 14, 2014

MISSOULA – This year marks the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in Montana, and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana is showcasing exhibits documenting the history of women in Montana.

An online exhibit is available at http://exhibits.lib.umt.edu/women-in-politics. A physical exhibit has been installed on the fourth floor of the Mansfield Library. The exhibits feature a timeline highlighting the role of women in Montana and UM politics and political activities from 1882 to the present. The online exhibit also includes a guide to collections held in Archives and Special Collections at the Mansfield Library by and about women.

“We are thrilled to part of UM’s active participation in the Montana Woman Suffrage Centennial through our exhibitions highlighting the contributions of women and women’s organizations to our state and its people,” said Donna McCrea, head of Archives and Special Collections.

On Nov. 3, 1914, women won the right to vote in Montana. During the past 100 years, women in Montana have continued to fight for reform and equality.

The exhibits feature photographs and documents from well-known early 20th-century suffragists Jeannette Rankin and Ella J. Knowles Haskell, along with information on contemporary activists and politicians such as Juliet Gregory, Missoula’s only female mayor, and Lorena Burgess, a Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal council member. There is also a special section devoted to history of women at UM.

To complement the exhibit, Montana Rep. Diane Sands will present a lecture at the Mansfield Library titled Taking Action: A Political History of Women in Montana” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, on the library’s fourth floor.

For more information email McCrea at donna.mccrea@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Donna McCrea, head of UM Archives and Special Collections, 406-243-4403, donna.mccrea@umontana.edu.