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Celebrate Washington's Suffragettes

Performance at White Salmon library

Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, and the West Klickitat County Historical Society/Gorge Heritage Museum are hosting a performance of "May's Vote" at the White Salmon Community Library on Tuesday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

The event is free to the community.

Washington State is celebrating its 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote this year. The three organizations have joined forces and coordinated with Humanities Washington Inquiring Mind program to bring character performers Barbara Callander and Toni Douglass to perform "May's Vote, the story of suffragettes Emma Smith DeVoe and May Arkwright Hutton."

DeVoe, based in western Washington and known to be prim and proper, was a professional suffrage organizer trained by Susan B. Anthony. She believed that in order to win the vote it was imperative to approach men in a ladylike manner. Her counterpart Hutton, however, was a rags-to-riches Spokane millionaire and ex-mining camp cook who disagreed with DeVoe, said: "You gotta charm the pants off 'em. You don't focus on the issue; you distract 'em from it!"

"May's Vote" presents Emma and May from their respective childhoods through the noisy public struggle that ended with women attaining the vote in 1910, and demonstrates that we do not always have to agree in order to achieve a common goal.

March is Women's History Month and the West Klickitat County Historical Society/Gorge Heritage Museum is presenting a case of artifacts related to the Washington State Women's Suffrage movement in the library throughout the month. The items include some owned by White Salmon pioneer Jenny Jewett, who was the vice president of the statewide organization.

Members and friends of the Historical Society and Soroptimist of Mt. Adams have made a quilt celebrating the 100th anniversary, which will be on display in the library the evening of the performance.

Raffle tickets are available at the Gorge Heritage Museum and Collage of the Gorge, and the winner will be selected September 30, 2010.

This collaborative event builds on previous year's events sponsored by Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams and the library.

"We're delighted to continue our partnership with the library and to be working with the Historical Society this year to bring this performance to our community and celebrate what we believe was a great decision on the part of Washington residents in 1910. Our state was the fifth state to allow women the right to vote and was 10 years ahead of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, which allowed women across our nation the right to vote," said Janet Holen, Soroptimist event coordinator. "We are fortunate to have professional actors presenting this entertaining vignette of Washington State history and hope the community will attend," she continued.

Soroptimist is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.

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