Events & Festivals

Women's right to vote online program April 2

Posted: Mar. 31, 2020 2:00 pm

HANNIBAL | A history of the women's suffrage movement and early supporters of the right to vote will be offered online and free this week.

Sandra Davidson's presentation entitled “Not So Minor: Supreme Court Denies Women's Right to Vote” will be offered at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 2. Registration for the program is required at

“Not So Minor: Supreme Court Denies Women's Right to Vote” tells about Virginia Minor, an early Missouri proponent of women's right to vote. She was the first president of the Woman Suffrage Association of Missouri in 1867, two years before Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton established the National Woman Suffrage Association. Virginia Minor wanted to vote in the national election of 1872, but St. Louis registrar Reese Happersett would not let her register to vote. Minor sued. In Minor v Happersett, 88 US 162 (1875), the Supreme Court ruled that no law conferred on women the right to vote. The Court pointed out at the outset of its opinion that the constitution and laws of Missouri limited voting to men. Virginia Minor died in 1894, never getting the right to vote for which she labored for decades.

Davidson also will discuss coverture, the legal status of a married woman under common law in which she is considered to be under her husband's protection and authority.

Davidson earned her doctorate in philosophy from the University of Connecticut and her juris doctorate from the University of Missouri,graduating Order of the Coif. She is a Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, teaching media law there since 1989. She also taught media law at the MU School of Law. She is the attorney for the Columbia Missourian, published by the Missouri School of Journalism.

“Not So Minor” is part of Show Me Missouri: Conversations about Missouri's Past, Present, and Future, a speakers' bureau program jointly organized and managed by the Missouri Humanities Council and the State Historical Society of Missouri. The purpose of the Speakers' Bureau is to promote public education for rural, urban and suburban audiences throughout the state of Missouri. This presentation can be enjoyed free of charge by area residents, and the information is provided by the Hannibal Free Public Library and Jim's Journey as one of the activities in Hannibal's More Than a Month celebration for 2020.

More information about events sponsored by Jim's Journey may be found at Library events may be found at or on Facebook. “More Than a Month” events may be found


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