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‘Living History at Your Library’ presents Madeline McDowell Breckinridge

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By ASHLEY EVANS

The “Living History at Your Library” series presents Madeline McDowell Breckinridge: Votes For Women!, 6 p.m. March 23.

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge (1872—1920) or Madge as she preferred to be called, portrayed by Kelly Brengelman, shares the story of how one woman helped usher in a new age of women’s rights at a state and national level.

Breckinridge, great-granddaughter of Henry Clay, was born in Franklin County, Kentucky, and grew up in Lexington. Given her family lineage, it was understood that Breckinridge would dedicate her life to public service. Little did anyone know how much of an impact she would have on the shaping of Kentucky and the United States.

Following her education at State College (the University of Kentucky), Breckinridge dove headfirst into civic reform. Along with several other women, Breckinridge began lobbying for women’s rights to vote. Serving as a leader in numerous women’s clubs and reform groups, she was instrumental in fighting for votes for women. Breckinridge even went on to serve as the vice president of the National Woman Suffrage Association and spoke in multiple states on equal rights to vote. Her work culminated with the 19th Amendment being ratified in Kentucky on Jan. 6, 1920.

Not only was Breckinridge deeply invested in voting reform, she was also a progressive reformer for the poor, educational programs, child welfare and tuberculosis research. A strong and confident woman, Breckinridge, spoke out and stood firm on the hot issues of the day that led to significant changes.

The event is part of the ongoing “Living History at Your Library” series and is sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council, an independent, nonprofit corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For program details or more information, contact the library at (502) 624-1232.