Bring the stories of amazing women from history to your library, school, senior center, historical society, scouting event, or civic organization!
Carol Simon Levin portrays Lillian Feickert, president of the NJ Woman Suffrage Association from 1912-1920, to explore the overlooked role of NJ in the long frustrating fight for woman suffrage. She tells how some NJ women once had the vote, then lost it for over a century, how nationally-known suffrage advocates Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Cady Stanton staged tax and voting protests in the state, Dr. Florence Spearing Randolph brought black women into the movement and Alice Paul became the dynamo who re-energized the push for a federal amendment. As we celebrate the centennial of the 19th amendment and deal with current threats to our electoral system, knowledge of the history of our democracy is increasingly vital. This program demonstrates that women were not “given” the vote, but fought for it for generations.
(Program slides, timeline, and links are here.)
“Thank you for coming to the Wayne Public Library to present “Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots in Petticoats to Presidential Candidates.” This is a wonderful history about so many bright, strong women who should be in all of our history books!…You did a masterful job of organization and short, memorable descriptions… If only they had been listed to in their time, I wonder what our society would be like today.” — D.R.
“Yesterday at the library I learned about women in history. I learned that there is hope, and that the troubles we face right now are difficult, but women like Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth and so many others worked very hard, faced major adversity, and that was difficult too. Learn from them. I encourage you to read and learn about the past and that will help you find hope and courage to fight in the future.” — C.M. (Girl Scout mom)
Pickets & Persistence, War Service & Women’s Suffrage
American Women’s Fight to Win the Vote
Living History Presenter Carol Simon Levin portrays Jeannette Rankin,
America’s first female member of Congress, telling the intertwined stories of women’s suffrage activism, war service, and the political calculus that finally brought the support of President Wilson, the U.S. Congress, and state legislatures to achieve passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.
Carol as Jeannette Rankin,
First Female Member of Congress
Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots in Petticoats to Presidential Candidates. Carol Simon Levin portrays Abigail Adams — who famously wrote to her husband John asking that the Continental Congress “remember the ladies” when drafting new laws for the new nation — something the new Congress definitely did not do! “Abigail” then looks forward in time to tell the stories of some of the courageous and tenacious women of all colors and creeds who fought to enhance women’s political participation — from Dolley Madison to the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote and the pioneering female activists and politicians who’ve worked to extend women’s economic, social, and political rights into the 21st century.
Based on the Companion Book :
Designed to make history accessible to everyone from age eight to 108, Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots in Petticoats to Presidential Candidates tells the story of the struggle for women’s rights in this country through coloring pages and lively profiles of 69 courageous & tenacious women of all colors and creeds who fought to enhance women’s political participation — from Dolly Madison to the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote and the pioneering female activists and politicians who’ve worked to extend women’s economic, social, and political rights. You can see pages and reviews on Amazon and buy there or through Barnes & Noble. (For those who purchased the first edition, here is the link to the additional pages.) More information, reviews & sample pages here. Contact me directly at cslevin59 (at) gmail.com for bulk pricing.
Programs on Women in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math):
Bridge Builder in Petticoats: Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge bridgebuilderinpetticoats.com
Many books and films have featured the Brooklyn Bridge and millions of people have crossed it. Built between 1869 and 1883, without modern machines or even electric light, it was one of the most amazing technological achievements of its time. Yet few people know that a woman helped manage much of its construction. After her husband was bedridden, Emily Roebling became his liaison to the project – eventually communicating with the engineers and suppliers so well that it was rumored that she had become the Chief Engineer herself! Later she helped design the family mansion in Trenton, studied law, organized relief for returning troops from the Spanish American War, attended the coronation of the Tsar of Russia and even took tea with Queen Victoria. At her death, she was called “the most famous woman in New Jersey” and “one of the most noted women in the country,” yet today almost no one knows her name!
Nobody Owns the Sky: Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Female Aviators
Carol Simon Levin portrays Elinor Smith Sullivan to tell the stories of some of the early female pilots who risked their lives in flimsy wood and canvas aeroplanes but whose ground-breaking exploits were lost to history after Amelia Earhart’s famous disappearance. Executing audacious acrobatic aerial maneuvers, soloing across the English channel, setting records, barnstorming and buzzing beneath New York’s bridges, they were determined to show that anything that men could do, they could do too!
During World War II, more than one thousand women volunteers completed the WASP military pilot training program. They endured terrible Texas weather, snakes, spiders and scorpions, as well as the hostility of some male instructors. Graduating WASPs piloted every kind of military aircraft, tested new and overhauled airplanes (some with defective parts or dangerous reputations), delivered more than 12,000 planes, and flew over 60,000,000 miles (sometimes towing targets that soldiers shot at with live ammunition!) Thirty-eight of them died serving their country. Then they were told that men needed their jobs and they were dismissed and forgotten. Carol Simon Levin tells the story of the amazing WASPs through the eyes of Ann Baumgartner Carl, the Jersey girl who trained as a WASP, became the only American woman to test-fly experimental planes during the war, and the first American woman to fly a jet airplane!
Juliette Gordon Low: Intrepid Founder of the Girl Scouts
Carol Simon Levin impersonates Juliette Gordon Low and tells how an impulsive, nearly-deaf, eccentric and fun-loving transatlantic socialite founded an inclusive movement that has empowered tens of millions of American girls.
“Juliette Gordon Low” visiting World Thinking Day 2019, Basking Ridge NJ
(photo credit: Nicole Smith)
Please click on the links for more information about these programs.
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Silent Partner: Building the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo Credit: Patricia Hart Zachman.
“Thank you again for a wonderful program last night! I am still haunted by thoughts of Emily….you made her come so alive…..and I learned more about the Brooklyn Bridge than I thought I would ever know in my whole life!” — Nora, Ocean County Library
“Thank you for presenting a wonderful program that was so informative and enlightening. Your knowledge and creative storytelling fosters uncovering the truth of our past heroines.” — Nancy, Somerset Run Singles
“I was somewhat skeptical when Lilyan invited me to your program. As a pilot for many years I thought that I knew I everything about women pilots. What a surprise. Your program taught me so very much and your presentation was outstanding. I am sending your information to as many women as I can. I know that anyone who attends your program will be as excited as I am.” — A.L.
“Fascinating to learn of women who were so successful and we never heard of them!” — W.M.
“Very interesting subject presented well with slides and humor — very knowledgeable historian.” — S.P.
“Thank you for coming to Wayne Public Library to present your program “Nobody Owns the Sky.”…This is a wonderful program about the most amazing women. What athletic prowess — for some even into their nineties!… highly recommended. — D.R., Adult Services Librarian
If you love women’s history, I also highly recommend the podcast “The History Chicks“