Historical Society Celebrates Local Women Leaders

Two exhibitions and a panel discussion with Palm Beach County's local luminaries on March 23 will honor Women's History Month

Rudy Edna Pierce's press pass from the New York World's Fair in 1939 on view in “Breaking Barriers: Portraits of Persistence.” Photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County
Rudy Edna Pierce’s press pass from the 1939 New York World’s Fair on view in “Breaking Barriers: Portraits of Persistence.” Photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County

Women’s History Month marks the contributions women have made across the nation and recognizes their place as innovators, changemakers, and leaders in U.S. history. To celebrate, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County will host walking tours, special talks, and virtual and in-person exhibits to share the county’s rich history and the visionary figures who have changed the region for the better.

In the spirit of reflecting on women past, present and future, the Historical Society has curated a series of special events, online exhibits, and thought-provoking discussions throughout Women’s History Month.

Felicia Rodriguez
Felicia Rodriguez

Among the events is a panel discussion called “A Portrait of Leadership” at 5 p.m. on March 23 at the 1916 Historic Court House in West Palm Beach. Felicia Rodriguez of WPBF 25 News will moderate a conversation among a panel of local luminaries including: Ava L. Parker, J.D., president of Palm Beach State College; Fabiola Brumley, president of Bank of America Palm Beach County; Sarah Wetenhall, owner of The Colony Hotel; and philanthropist Frances Fisher. The panel will discuss how gender has shaped their careers and the advice they have for women right now and in the future.

In addition, the Historical Society is hosting “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote,” a virtual exhibition highlighting the women’s suffrage movement, arranged by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service.

Ava Parker
Ava Parker

To tie the movement to Palm Beach County, the Historical Society will showcase local women who challenged the status quo in business, law, medicine, and education in the outdoor exhibit “Breaking Barriers: Portraits of Persistence.” Highlighted heroines include Eva Mack, former West Palm Beach mayor; architect Agnes Ballard; professional golfer Bessie Fenn; League of Women Voters founder Nellie O’Hara; journalist Ruby Edna Pierce; pioneer Lillie Pierce Voss; Dr. Alice R. Evans Miller; and Mar-a-Lago owner Marjorie Merriweather Post. The exhibition will be on view through April.

To attend the panel discussion, RSVP for the free event by calling (561) 832-4164, ext. 306, or by emailing Sharon Poss at sposs@pbchistory.org. Click here to learn more about the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. 

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