Women learn to vote at NCR, Oct. 27, 1920.

Dangerous Dames of Dayton will celebrate the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment

Journalist Susan Page, author of “The Matriarch,” is the keynote speaker

This year’s Dangerous Dames of Dayton evening will celebrate the centennial year of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote with a noted journalist and best-selling author. 

Susan Page, the Washington Bureau chief of USA Today and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Matriarch,” will be the keynote speaker at the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area event. 

Susan Page will be the keynote speaker at the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area Dangerous Dames of Dayton event. Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY staff
Photo: Robert Deutsch/USAT

This year also marks the founding of the Dayton chapter. 

“It’s a great year for us because it’s the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and it’s also the 100th anniversary of our local Dayton league,” Susan Hesselgesser, executive director of the Dayton chapter, said. 

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“Our league opened its doors several months before the 19th Amendment was signed so that we could get women ready to vote. We were one of the first leagues in the country and one of the largest in the nation. It’s a big, big year for us.” 

Page, who is working on a forthcoming book about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, chronicles the life of former First Lady Barbara Bush in “The Matriarch.”

Bush had strong family ties to Dayton and southwest Ohio. 

Her grandfather Scott Pierce was one of the founders of the Dayton Rotary Club. Her parents, Marvin Pierce and Pauline Robinson, met at Miami University in Oxford. 

When the family lived in New York years later, Marvin would bring Barbara on trips to Dayton when he worked for McCall Corporation. He went on to be the president of McCall’s, the publisher of Redbook and McCall’s. 

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Hesselgesser said the league chose Page because this is a presidential election year and she has extensive experience covering campaigns and interviewing presidents as well as writing the book about Bush, the wife of a president and the mother of a president. 

The event will be held Saturday, March 7, at the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North.

Registration begins at 5:45 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and must be reserved by Feb. 21. 

These women suffragists of Dayton marched for women's right in 1913. They are being honored at the 90th anniversary of the League of Women Voters. The women pictured who went to Washington in 1913 were (left to right, back row) Ada Eby, Lena Bunn, Mrs. R.K. Welliver, Jane Marlay, A.K. Neibel and Miss Elizabeth Hecker. Front row, left to right: Mrs. McCrea, Mrs. Kipple Hall, Jessee Davisson and Mrs. J.E. Welliver.
Photo: Contributed photo

To make a reservation call the LWV office at (937) 228-4041 for instructions on how to mail payment. 

Reservations can also be made by PayPal on the LWV website at http://www.lwvdayton.org/calendar/dddcentennial.htm

The 2020 Dangerous Dames of Dayton will also be honored during the evening. 

“They are women who are making an impact on the community in different ways,” Hesselgesser said. “We look for women we think are in different avenues and doing amazing things. They are all making a difference in their own way.” 

This year’s recipients are: 

Jo Columbro (posthumously), a long-time member of the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton area who served as president from 2011-2013. 

Judge Alice McCollum, the first woman to serve on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Probate Division. Prior to that she was the first and only woman elected to the Dayton Municipal Court bench.

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Jill Kingston, founder of Brigid’s Path, an in-house healing residence for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). 

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley for her leadership through a difficult year that included the Ku Klux Klan rally in May, the mass shooting in the Oregon District in August and death of Dayton Det. Jorge Del Rio in November.

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