History buffs can tell you that the first Woman Suffrage Parade took place in Washington, D.C. in 1913. The parade was scheduled on the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration…..to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.” The thousands of women who marched advanced women’s suffrage in the United States. Perhaps there were women from Rocky Mount, NC who marched, but in this same year, 1913, a group of Rocky Mount woman did step forward to make a lasting contribution to their city.
In 1910 an organized literary movement began in Rocky Mount that had a far-reaching effect on the cultural life of its citizens. A newly formed Research Club pointed out a deficiency in the community; a lack of a library outside of schools. There was no place that offered informational or recreational reading. It was difficult to find novels, which were highly sought after. A group of Rocky Mount ladies banded together to buy books of current interest to exchange among themselves. From this beginning followed The Fine Arts Club in 1913 who gave a gift of 1000 books in 1915 to establish Rocky Mount’s first library set up in a room over a store on downtown Sunset Ave. Volunteers from the Rocky Mount Women’s Club staffed the collection.
I recently had the honor of spending an afternoon with the current membership of The Fine Arts Club where I was asked to talk about my second, novel, Facing East. The group meets once a month; a lovely, intelligent, and engaged membership that still share their love of reading and are involved in the multiple interests of the community.
Top Five Books Published in 1913
Swann’s Way – Marcel Proust
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
O Pioneers! – Willa Cather
In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust
The Gods of Mars – Edgar Rice Burroughs
4 thoughts on “Honoring The Liberal Arts Club Formed in 1913 – Rocky Mount Ladies Make a Difference.”
What a nice compliment…we certainly enjoyed your review of FACING EAST and look forward to another novel down the road!
Happy to write about a group of women who through the years have been a part of the Rocky Mount story.
Thank you so much for all the information you put on your blog. I really enjoyed the afternoon and always find you so interesting.
Through the years, the Liberal Arts Club women have been important to the cultural scene of Rocky Mount. Delighted to have spend time with all of you and write a brief note about this fine group.