March is Women’s History Month, and in honor of the many remarkable – and unsung – women in our nation’s history, we’ve compiled some of the most interesting Women’s History Month events in Annapolis:
Shero Film Series at Banneker-Douglass Museum
Saturday, March 10 – 12-2:30 pm & 5-7:30 pm
Inspired by Frederick Doulgass’ support of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the Banneker-Douglass Museum and Filmsters presents two series of films and a panel discussion that explores women’s empowerment, intersectionality, and feminism. The day kicks off at noon with a Maryland State Proclamation reading of Harriet Tubman Day. Then, families are invited to enjoy a screening of “Hidden Figures,” the story of a team of African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA’s early years. Later in the evening, the museum will offer short film screenings for teen and adult audiences. A Q/A discussion will take place after the screenings with filmmaker Lisa Collins and moderated by Chris Haley, Director for the Study of the Legacy of Slavery for Maryland. Learn more from on Banneker-Douglass Museum’s website. Free, registration requested. Snacks included!
Lead On, Harriet! at Chesapeake Children’s Museum
Friday, March 9 & Saturday, March 10 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Learn about the Underground Railroad and meet the famous conductor from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Harriet Tubman. Appropriate for ages nine and up. Dress for some outdoor activity. Girl Scout Juniors can earn the Playing the Past badge (available for $2). Learn more from the Chesapeake Children’s Museum. $10 per participant. One adult free for every five children.
“To do right and overcome”: The Plummer Family in Slavery and Freedom at Maryland State Archives
Wednesday, March 21 – 12 pm
Escape attempts, slave auctions, retrieving a daughter “sold South,” community activism, founding a church, a US Army 1894 dishonorable discharge (changed to honorable 100+ years later) – these are all parts of the Plummer family’s remarkable and powerful story as learned through a diary, a spiritual memoir and documents retrieved at archives. Listen to the Plummer family’s story and celebrate the induction of matriarch Emily Saunders Plummer into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, both for her inspiring story and as a representative of other enslaved African American Maryland women. Bagged lunches are welcome at this lunchtime lecture. Learn more at the Maryland State Archives website. Free, registration requested.
Now, before we get to your weekend plans, let’s take a moment to shine the spotlight on a couple notable ladies who helped shape our historic town:
Mary Lloyd Chew Paca (1735-1774) – Mary Lloyd Chew Paca was linked by birth and by marriage to the most prominent families in Colonial Maryland. She grew up in the center of Colonial society and although she was pursued by many suitors, Mary waited until age 28 to marry. Her husband William Paca, five years her junior, saw his social and financial standing go up when they married. When the Pacas moved to what is known today as the “Paca House,” Mary cared for the extensive gardens which, through restoration by Historic Annapolis, maintain their resonance and beauty today. They are truly a must see! Tragically, Mary died after giving birth to her third child in 1774. She did not live to see her husband sign the Declaration of Independence or become Governor of Maryland but as the saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a woman.
Anne Catharine Hoof Green (1720-1775) – In a time when women were expected to play only a domestic role in society, Anne Catharine Hoof Green printed and published a newspaper. When Anne’s husband Jonas Green died in 1767, he left Anne with debt, a print shop and six children to care for. Anne decided to take over Jonas’ print shop and continued uninterrupted publication of what was the only newspaper in Annapolis at the time, the Maryland Gazette. To better manage life as a working single mother, she moved the print shop into the family home. Within three years she paid off her late husband’s debt and bought the property (124 Charles Street) for her family. To recognize her own achievements, Anne boldly commissioned a portrait of herself by one of the foremost colonial painters, Charles Willson Peale.
With these snapshots of Mary and Anne’s stories as your inspiration, we hope you’ll have some fun exploring Women’s History this month!
For more Maryland heroines, check out the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame online!