Muhlenberg County Public Libraries has scheduled the next program in their popular “Thursdays at Thistle” series.
Kentucky Chautauqua’s Kelly Brengelman will present her “Madeline McDowell Breckinridge: Votes for Women!” program at Thistle Cottage on October 19 at 7 p.m.
Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, the great-granddaughter of famed statesman Henry Clay, was born in 1872 and spent part of her childhood at the Clay estate, Ashland, in Lexington. After losing a foot after a bout with tuberculosis, she became an outspoken advocate for many social causes.
Breckinridge focused on improving the lives of children; helping those living in poverty; promoting financial aid programs for those dealing with health issues (especially tuberculosis); and women’s rights, for which she has become known. Breckinridge was president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association for many years and eventually was named vice president of the National Women’s Suffrage Association. After the 19th Amendment was ratified in Kentucky in 1920, Breckinridge proudly cast her vote in that year’s presidential election – the only time she would do so, as she suffered a stroke soon after the election and died two days later on Thanksgiving. She was 48 years old at the time.
Breckinridge’s portrait is included in the state capitol’s “Kentucky Women Remembered” exhibit.
Breckinridge is portrayed by actress Kelly O’Connell Brengelman. Brengelman has worked with the Kentucky Humanities Council since 2005. She previously acted as Ruth Booe and Lucy Bakewell Audubon. She is currently portraying Rose Leigh, better known as “Rosie the Riveter,” as well as Breckinridge for the Chautauqua program.
Brengelman has also acted in commercials, documentaries and independent films. She recently appeared in the documentary Audubon, which received widespread recognition when it aired nationwide on PBS earlier this year.
This program will be presented free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information about this program, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.
Kentucky Chautauqua is a presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council. Local funding is provided by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation.