MUSCATINE, Iowa—Since its inception on Feb. 14, 1920, the League of Women Voters has had close ties to both passing the 19th Amendment (which gave women the right to vote) and Iowa. Iowan Carrie Chapman Catt proved instrumental in passing the 19th Amendment and in forming the League. As Sue Johannsen of the League of Muscatine County explained it, “the League of Women Voters was formed by Carrie Chapman Catt and it was her winning voice that finally got (the 19th Amendment) ratified.”
100 years after Catt and others worked so hard to earn women the right to vote and understand how to exercise their rights, the League of Muscatine County continues to promote these causes. “Their mission and the mission today are pretty much the same,” emphasized Johannsen. We register voters and educate voters so they can be informed when they go to the polls.” To commemorate the passage of the 19th amendment and to shed new light on the League’s ongoing efforts, the League of Muscatine County has numerous events scheduled throughout the year as part of the Hard Won Not Done campaign.
For the artistically inclined, the League of Muscatine County will host several events at the Muscatine Art Center. March 26, the Eastern Iowa Women Artists Invitational panel will invite several women artists with works on display at the Muscatine Art center to speak about their experiences and what inspired them to make their pieces. A reception for the artists will follow April 5. April 9, a discussion on the book “Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (In That Order)” by Bridget Quinn, will broaden the conversation about the impact of women in the arts.
For history lovers, two events at Muscatine Community College will pique their interest. March 11, Matthew Schaefer, outreach archivist at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, will speak about the life of first lady Lou Henry Hoover. Two weeks later on March 24, MCC will host a production of “First Lady Lou: A One Woman Show” which dramatizes the life of this first lady.
Over the course of the spring and summer, the League of Muscatine encourages all their supporters to come join them as they participate in the Race for the Schools May 5, the Watermelon Stampede Aug. 15, and the Family Bike Ride Sept. 19. They also encourage members to come out and walk in both the Muscatine Fourth of July parade and the Wilton Founders’ Day parade.
As a special treat, the League of Muscatine County will hold a concert at Ardon Creek Winery Aug. 21, the closest weekend to Aug. 19, the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The League of Muscatine County would also like to host a hat making day and may walk in West Liberty’s fair parade and will announce more information about both events in the near future.
Through this wide variety of events, the League of Muscatine County hopes to better inform Muscatine County about their mission and history and to show everyone a good time. “We’d really like to get lots of people involved,” said Johannsen. “I really hope they’ll be a little something for everyone.”