Civil War Collection Exhibit Program Voting

Ballots, Babes and Beer now open

The new temporary exhibit about women gaining the right to vote in Illinois is now officially open! Hands down, this is one of the neatest exhibits the museum has ever constructed. Discover why it took women so long to gain the vote and how the liquor lobby affected the fight. Don’t delay your visit! The exhibit will only be displayed until November 21.

So let’s get down to the important question: why is this guy in a barrel?

Although Illinois’ voting laws excluded women in 1891, Lombard’s charter had a loophole that allowed all citizens to vote. As such, Ellen Martin, a lawyer from Lombard and 14 other prominent women went to their polling place and demanded the vote. Their bold audacity shocked the men at the poll. One man was so incensed, he fell backwards into a barrel. The women were allowed to vote in that election, but the charter was changed shortly after. Illinois women would have to wait until 1913 for full voting rights.