The Finney County Historical Society will offer two free history programs about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, beginning at noon Oct. 14, as part of the fall season History at High Noon and Evening at the Museum series.
The sessions are taking place with socially-distanced seating and additional COVID-19 precautions. Each is scheduled in the Mary Regan Conference Room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth Street in Garden City’s Finnup Park, with access via the north entrance. Programs are sponsored by the Southern Council of the AT&T Pioneers, and began with the Mitchal Runnels Story Sept. 9 and Sept. 15.
The noon program Oct. 14 will be presented by Janice Walker, a member of the Great Bend League of Women Voters and voter services leader for the League of Women Voters of Kansas. Walker plans to appear in suffragist clothing like that worn by women 100 years ago when they won the fight to extend voting rights to women across the United States.
The speaker will focus on the centennial of national women’s suffrage, which occurred in August of 1920 when Tennessee became the last of the necessary 36 states to ratify the amendment that guaranteed Americans the right to vote regardless of gender. She also plans to give a short preview of a 19th Amendment exhibit that will open about Oct. 26 at the museum, and explain how Kansas women obtained the right to vote as early as 1912.
The museum will also host a 19th Amendment presentation at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 as part of the Evening at the Museum series, featuring either a different live speaker or a PBS documentary about the suffrage struggle.
In addition to spacing out audience seating for social distancing, this fall’s programs are breaking with museum tradition by offering beverages but no food. No tables for dining will be available and, unlike in past years, attendees are asked to refrain from bringing lunch or dinner. Attendance will be limited to 40 listeners per session, hand sanitizer will be accessible and masks will be encouraged, though not required, with free masks available.
There will also be a program entitled “Painters of Modern Life” at noon Nov. 11 and 7 p.m. Nov. 17, given by Dr. Conny Bogaard, executive director of the Western Kansas Community Foundation. Bogaard holds two degrees in art history, theory and aesthetics and she will share pictures and information about Impressionist painting in the 1800s and early 1900s. Her program will incorporate ties to Finney County, Garden City and Southwest Kansas history.
Information is available by contacting the museum at 620-272-3664.