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Celebrating women's suffrage

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REMEMBERING: Above, items on display Wednesday night at the Peru Public Library during a book discussion centered on the fight for the women’s right to vote. Right, a poster from the women’s suffrage movement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOs
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GOOD TALK:A group of local women discuss the Elaine Weiss book “The Woman’s Hour” during a book discussion at the Peru Public Library. The event is one of several planned around the coming 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
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BOOK:"The Woman's Hour" by Elaine Weisssits on a table at the Peru Public Library on Wednesday night. The book was the topic of discussion during an event planned by a group of local women who are working to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
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TIME:A poster from the women’s suffrage movement.

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

A group of local women have hosted the first of many events they have planned for the coming months to mark the centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and remind their neighbors how hard women had to fight to win their right to vote.

About a dozen women gathered Wednesday night in a meeting room at the public library for a discussion centered on the book “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote” by Elaine Weiss.

“There’s another like that that Jayne is planning for May I believe,” Regine Brindle, one of the organizers behind the events told the Tribune on Thursday.

Brindle was referring to friend and fellow volunteer, Jayne Kesler, who selected the book and organized the discussion with the help of Indiana Humanities, an organization that provided several copies of the book for loan.

“Then I went down to hear the author at the Indiana Historical Society,” Kesler said.

Both women said they were pleased with Wednesday’s turnout, but several people expressed a desire to hear more about local efforts in the suffrage movement.

That’s coming with the May discussion, they said.

“It’s called ‘Fighting for Equality,’” Kesler said of the book scheduled for May (also with the help of Indiana Humanities). “It’s a study of an Indiana woman.”

The book, itself written by Hoosier author Ray E. Boomhower and published by the Indiana Historical Society, is about Mary Wright Sewall, an Indiana reformer and activist.

“It really traces just an outstanding Indiana woman,” Kesler said.

They also have at least one event planned for next year looking into the life of Peru resident and activist Marie Stuart Edwards.

“She was a mover and shaker at the state level and at the national level as well,” Brindle said.

Between now and the conclusion of their events around August centennial of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, the group has several other things planned.

“August 22 is the parade,” Brindle said.

And, thanks to a grant from the Boomerang Sisterhood, they are also hosting professional storyteller Sally Perkins to present her show “Digging in Their Heels: An Energized Eye-Opening Story of Women’s Battle for the Vote.” That’s coming in April.

That was a large item on the group’s wishlist back in September when Brindle, Kesler and others first started talking about their plans with the Tribune.

Those who are interested in learning more about those plans or seeking information about how to get involved are encouraged to visit the Facebook page Miami County Indiana Worth Remembering.