Events at N.C. Museum Celebrate Women in History

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the North Carolina Museum of History. The museum’s exhibits — including the women’s suffrage 100th anniversary exhibit “You Have to Start a Thing” — and the Museum Shop are all open to the public. There are also several virtual lectures and events throughout the month.

Last year, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The exhibit “You Have to Start a Thing” explores how Tar Heel women and men fought for — and against — woman suffrage in the decades leading up to 1920. It also chronicles the ongoing struggle to ensure voting rights for North Carolinians of color and the (slow) entry of women into positions of political power in our state.

Visitors to this in-person exhibition, located on the lobby floor of the museum, can enjoy the chance to experience the suffrage debate by watching life-size videos of actors portraying suffragists and anti-suffragists. They can listen to the words and opinions of real people, taken from actual speeches, letters, newspaper articles, and propaganda circulating in North Carolina between the 1890s and 1920.

More March Events

You can also stay up to date on all events and exhibits at the museum website: Programs are FREE unless otherwise noted; advance registration, at, is generally required to receive a confirmation email with information about joining online presentations. Events with asterisks (*) note family and kid-friendly programming.

*History and Mocktails: St. Patrick’s Life and Legacy
Thursday, Mar. 11, 7 p.m. via Zoom

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with this look at the real Patrick, a fifth-century Romano-Briton citizen who was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland. Much of his legacy in Ireland is disputed, but, as Dr. Charles Ludington, North Carolina State University, will tell us, Patrick is generally credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland and was canonized as a result.

*History Hunters: Colonial Wartime
Wednesday, Mar. 17, 1–2 p.m. via Demio
Ages 10–13

What side would you choose if your home became a battleground? Learn what choices folks made in North Carolina before and during the Revolutionary War.

Coffee with a Curator: Previewing Answering the Call
Tuesday, Mar. 23, 10–10:30 a.m. via Zoom

Join the museum’s curator of military history, Charles R. Knight, as he previews an upcoming exhibit, Answering the Call: Experiences of North Carolina Military Veterans, 1898–1945. The exhibit, currently scheduled to open in the museum on April 6, looks at the lives of North Carolinians from all walks of life who stood against the backdrop of some of the largest military conflicts in the 20th century. The 20-minute program will be followed by time for a Q&A session.

Chasing My Cure
Wednesday, Mar. 24, 7 p.m.

Dr. David C. Fajgenbaum, known for finding a treatment for his own rare inflammatory condition, Castleman Disease, is now helping doctors and researchers around the world with patients battling COVID-19. Hear his story, and learn about his role in connecting discoveries about Castleman Disease with the new coronavirus; his work with the Penn Center for Research on Coronavirus and Other Emerging Pathogens; and his coordination of the CORONA project database, the world’s only database tracking all drugs being used against COVID-19.

Note that the author has offered to autograph bookplates for newly purchased copies of his autobiography, Chasing My Cure. Order yours on our Museum Shop website: the package will be sent to you or prepared for curbside or in-store pickup—while supplies last!

History and Highballs: Women Who Brew
Thursday, Mar. 25, 7 p.m. via Zoom
Adults only, please.

Michelle Miniutti and Ellen Joyner were business colleagues who also liked to visit breweries and craft-centric beer bars. So it seemed natural when, in January of 2011, after a day visiting local breweries, Miniutti suggested to Joyner, who had actually been a home brewer for more than 10 years, that they start their own microbrewery. Both had strong business management backgrounds and entrepreneurial spirits, so they formed a plan, asked Jackie Hudspeth to join their venture, and got to work. At that time, the United States had only three 100-percent women-owned microbreweries. But within five years, Bombshell Beer Company had changed that, and its beers had won more than 25 medals in international, national, and regional competitions. In March 2020, the company was named one of the 10 “most amazing” women-led breweries and distilleries in the world by 10Best, a division of USA Today!

*Daughters of the Sky: The Legacy of Women Pilots in North Carolina
Wednesday, Mar. 31, 7 p.m. via Zoom

Women’s History Month closes out with our first installment of the museum’s Answering the Call: World War II Lecture Series. In World War II, some of the American women who answered the call to service did so from thousands of feet above the Cape Fear region — as Women Airforce Service Pilots. These WASPs were the first women trained to fly the military’s frontline arsenal. Though many of them would make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, they did not receive recognition for their military service until nearly three decades after World War II ended. Join John Moseley, ‎assistant site manager at ‎Fort Fisher State Historic Site, to learn about these amazing women and their special tie to North Carolina.

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