'Trailblazing Women in Ohio Politics' documentary preview screenings to be hosted statewide by local League of Women Voters chapters

In celebration of National Women’s History Month, a new documentary titled “Trailblazing Women in Ohio Politics” will premiere during a series of special public preview screenings hosted by League of Women Voters chapters throughout Ohio starting March 1.

The schedule includes:

  • March 1 – Columbus Metropolitan Library Auditorium, 7 p.m.
  • March 2 – Maumee Indoor Theatre, 7 p.m.
  • March 7 – The Athena Cinema, Athens, 7 p.m.
  • March 11 – Cleveland History Center, 1 p.m.
  • March 14 – Walnut Hills Library Branch, Cincinnati, noon
  • March 16 – Dayton Metro Library, Eichelberger Forum, 7 p.m.
  • March 21 – Union Theater, Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Bowling Green State University, 7 p.m.
  • March 28 – Akron-Summit County Public Library, 6:30 p.m.

The public is invited to watch the hour-long documentary, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bowling Green State University Political Science Professor Melissa K. Miller, an expert on American politics. The non-partisan documentary tells the story of both Democratic and Republican women who broke electoral barriers beginning in the 1960s. WBGU-PBS produced the documentary locally.

The goal of the documentary is to tell the stories of notable women in Ohio electoral politics. Each blazed a trail for women/women of color in elective office. This includes Jo Ann Davidson, the first woman speaker of the Ohio House; Helen Rankin, the first African-American woman in the Ohio General Assembly; and Betty D. Montgomery, Ohio’s first woman attorney general, along with other distinguished politicians. 

“Their unique, lived experiences are fascinating history,” Miller said. “It’s our honor to illuminate their struggles and triumphs for a multi-generational audience.”

The documentary combines on-camera interviews, artifacts from each trailblazer’s career and archival footage and photos – many from the Ohio History Connection archives. Each interview also will be housed at the University's Center for Archival Collections (CAC), giving scholars and students access to their oral histories for decades.

Initial funding for the project was provided by Dr. Maribeth S. and Martin E. Rahe. Additional financial support was provided by the Ohio History Fund, a grant program of the Ohio History Connection; Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Office of the President of Bowling Green State University (BGSU); and the University's Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

WBGU-PBS is a PBS affiliate and partner of Bowling Green State University serving a 19-county region with award-winning programming and educational resources. For more information, visit www.wbgu.org.

Trailblazing Women in Ohio Politics. Your donations to the Ohio History Fund make this program possible. www.ohiohistory.org/historyfund.

Updated: 02/24/2023 10:52AM