Evanston women played a pivotal role in obtaining the vote for Illinois women in 1913. Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to give women the vote and this expansion of women’s rights in Illinois set the stage for national women’s suffrage. Though this may seem surprising for Illinois to play this role, it actually makes historical sense. From the years just following the Civil War until the final passage of the 19th amendment in 1919, Illinois women were often at the forefront of developing the arguments and strategies that propelled the suffrage movement forward and eventually led to its success. And, many of these Illinois women called Evanston home and, naturally, later went on to found the Evanston League of Women Voters. Osborne will relate the story of how Illinois women got the vote and the Evanston women who were most involved in making it happen. Highlighting the 1913 passage, in advance of the 100th anniversary coming next year, Osborne will show how this history remains relevant today.

The League of Women Voters will hear a presentation by Lori Osborne of the Evanston History Center at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the John Evans Alumni Center located at 1800 Sheridan Road (corner of Clark Street and Sheridan Road). Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to 847-866-7844 by Jan. 30.