A historian and dramatist will present a “living biography” of Lucy Webb Hayes, the wife of Delaware native Rutherford B. Hayes, the nation’s 19th president, Tuesday at the local library.
The Delaware County Genealogical Society will present historian and dramatist Betty Darst, who will portray the popular and beloved first lady, Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of President Hayes, whose inauguration was in 1877.
Lucy Hayes was an advocate and frequent spokesperson for the freedom of slaves, along with the rights of Native Americans, immigrants and the poor. In one of her most famous speeches, she exclaimed, “The lifting of the unfortunate of our own country ought to interest every man and woman.”
Having earned a degree in liberal arts, she was the first first lady to attend college. She met her future husband at Ohio Wesleyan University. She was a lifelong and fervent advocate of temperance but refused to join the organized movement. Although she disapproved of serving wine at White House parties, she was once convinced to allow the serving of wine at a dinner honoring the visiting Russian ambassador.
She expressed the belief of equal intellectual capability between genders. She was responsible for the completion of the Washington Monument, the introduction of the Easter egg roll on the White House Lawn, and was a central figure in the dedication of the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Darst is a dramatist, historian and storyteller who is nationally recognized for her knowledge and impersonations of historically significant women, such as Katherine Wright, Amelia Earhart, World War II women aviators and Lucy Hayes.
This program is free to the public. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Community Room of the Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St.
This program is made possible in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.