Archive for Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lawrence scholar performs as city’s first woman to register to vote

March 23, 2014


With a mixture of narration and dance, local historian Joan Stone will tell the tale of Annie Diggs, the first woman to register to vote in Lawrence, during a public performance.

Annie Diggs moved to Lawrence in 1872 at age 19, according to the Kansas Historical Society. Diggs made speeches in support of the temperance movement, and she became interested in Populism by the early 1880s. Throughout the next 20 years, she lectured extensively about prohibition, the populist movement and women's suffrage. On Feb. 16, 1887, Diggs registered to vote, defying objections from the Lawrence City Council.

Stone's performance, titled "Annie Diggs: A Voice for Working People," describes the early struggles of Diggs. Though she became a journalist, advocate and Kansas State Librarian, Diggs had difficulty earning an education and overcoming poverty.

The free performance, sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.


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