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Senator Spilka Celebrates Women’s History Month with Libby Franck and the Caucus of Women Legislators

March 31, 2011

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On Wednesday, March 30, Senator Karen Spilka, Senate Chair of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, joined her Co-Chair Rep. Cory Atkins as they hosted a celebration of Women’s History Month and suffrage for women at an event at the State House on March 30.

Framingham resident and Living History Storyteller Libby Franck told of the fight for women’s right to vote.  This battle raged for 72 years culminating in organized marches and pickets in the first decades of the 20th Century.  Franck as Josephine Collins, local businesswoman and suffragist, portrayed Collins’ journey from Framingham to Boston to help win the vote. Louise Mayo, farmer’s wife and mother of seven, also played an important role.  “March to the Vote” was created to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

About Libby Franck: Storyteller Libby Franck hosted an award winning cable show “Tales from Cricket Corner” in Natick and ran The OutSpoken Word series for Amazing Things Arts Center.  She seeks out strong women of history to bring to life.  These include: Lady Agnes Frankland, Hopkinton’s Colonial heroine, Mary Bryant, a British convict who led a daring sea escape in 1791, and Pirates Ann Bonny & Mary Read, terrors of the Caribbean.  (These two stories are on her CD “Women of the Sea.”) The Framingham History Center has commissioned her to research, write and perform three local stories: Framingham’s 19th century Summer Chautauqua Program, the revolutionary Dr. Miriam Van Waters superintendent of the women’s prison 1932-1957, and now our suffragists jailed before the 19th amendment was passed. Libby was Laura in the play Sam & Laura by Ron Powers, the story of Mark Twain’s secret muse at Amazing Things Arts Center. To commemorate the Civil War she is currently working on Julia Ward Howe, poet and reformer.  Her Battle Hymn of the Republic was first sung at Framingham’s Plymouth Church in February 1862.  Libby Franck



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