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MANALAPAN –  Two separate programs, one relating three curious stories from Monmouth County history and the other a unique opportunity to view a film of the original stage-reading of the story of slavery, give followers of Monmouth County Library two different areas of American history to follow virtually and at no cost on Thursday, July 22.

The T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, the AAUW, and the League of Women Voters will present a film discussion on how the legacy of slavery also played in the right to vote. Entitled “Suffragists Speak: Race, Slavery and the Fight for the Vote” will be available through the Library’s website at 6:30 p.m. July 22, and will be followed by a discussion of suffrage and voting rights led by members of the film’s cast. The discussion portion of the program begins at 7 p.m.

At the same time, John Barrows, founder and editor of Monmouth Timeline and producer of “This Day in Monmouth County History” will present a discussion on Thomas Edison, the US Lifesaving Service and the importance of radar developed at Fort Monmouth specifically on Dec. 7, 1941. This program is presented by the Monmouth County Historical Association and co-sponsored by the Library and was originally scheduled to be presented on July 15.


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Viewers to the Suffragists Speak program do not need to view the 6:30 film prior to the 7 p.m. discussion and participation in the program. The film will also be available on the Library’s website following the program as well.

In Barrows’ presentation, the editor will aspects and events including Edison during the year he spent in Monmouth County, hinting at what and why he was here; on his discussion of the Life Saving Service, Barrows will feature an analysis of 150 years of newspaper coverage and how it reveals fascinating stories about aid given to distressed vessels at sea. The Fort Monmouth story will show how two Army privates used the equipment  to detect the Japanese attack,  but their warning was not heeded.

Both the Suffragette program and the Curious Monmouth History program will be conducted on ZOOM with registration and internet access required. Registration for the programs is available on the library’s website at its “Upcoming Events” column and must be completed by noon on July 22.  The link for the programs will be e-mailed to registrants after 3 p.m. the day of the presentations.

For more information on these, and all over programs offered by the Monmouth County Library, visit, or @MonCoLibrary.

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Muriel J. Smith

Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, in...