National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: August 7, 2014

National Archives at Kansas City

Women’s Equality Week Program Who’s Afraid of Virginia Minor?: Women’s Suffrage on the Prairie

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City, (MO)…On Thursday, August 28 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives will present in partnership with the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters a program titled Who’s Afraid of Virginia Minor?: Women’s Suffrage on the Prairie. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the program.

This program will include a short fictional play that illustrates the experience of Mrs. Virginia Minor, a woman who attempts to register to vote and is refused because she is female. She and her husband sue the local election registrar and the case travels through the court process to the highest level, the U.S. Supreme Court. Missouri state representative Judy Morgan (D) will play the part of Virginia Minor with C.E. "Gene" Morgan playing the registrar, Mr. Reese Happersett. Former Kansas City councilwoman, Joanne Collins (R) will provide a reading of suffragist Susan B. Anthony’s appeal to women in Kansas to "vote" now that that they can exercise their voting rights in municipal elections in 1887. The conclusion of the program will include highlights of Susan B. Anthony’s last public speech Failure is Impossible. This program is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Kansas City-Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties and the American Association of University Women – Kansas City Branch.

To make a reservation for this free program call 816-268-8010 or email

About the Presenters

Joanne Collins is a full-time volunteer, a member of 32 nonprofit organizations and she serves on 15 of their Board of Directors, and presently chairs five of them. She has held presidential, gubernatorial, regional, county, and municipal appointments. Previously, Collins served as Kansas City Missouri City Council Member-at-Large for 17 years as Finance and Audit Committee Chair, Mayor Pro-tem, and Acting Mayor and ran for Congress, twice; she seconded the nomination for President for then Vice-President George H.W. Bush. Banking, insurance, real estate sales, postal service, and community building were her professions. She actively recruits and supports minorities and women for elective and appointed public offices, while encouraging young people to serve as volunteers. Collins travels one week each month for personal enrichment and enjoyment. She is a widow with two children, three step-children, six grandchildren, and 9 step-grandchildren.

Gene Morgan retired in 2010 after working in the fields of corrections and substance abuse for over forty years. In his last position, he served as president of the Kansas City Community Center from 1990-2010. Upon retirement Morgan has remained active in his community as Jackson County Democratic Committeeman for the 4th Ward and as president of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association. He thoroughly enjoyed his one other acting experience in a play entitled 1937, One Hell of a Year!

Judy Morgan was a Social Studies teacher and counselor in the Kansas City Public Schools for 29 years. Elected President of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 691 in 1999, Morgan served in that position for ten years. In 2011 she was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives and is currently running for her second full term as a democrat in the 24th District. Along with her husband Gene, she performed in 1937, One Hell of a Year, in the fall of 2009.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 15 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-RM 14-026

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