|Georgia "Jo" Swanson
Women in History
Georgia “Jo” Swanson has recently joined Women in History; however she has been portraying historical women since 1984. Stimulated by her academic interest in women public speakers, Jo wanted to bring history alive for her students at Baldwin-Wallace College and local church groups. Her current characters include Ohioans Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president, 1872; Florence Harding, wife of Warren the 29th. American president from Marion; and Annie Oakley, the best rifle shot in the world who traveled with Buffalo Bill. Other characters include Elizabeth Cady Stanton one of the founders of the first women’s rights movement, 1848; and Jo’s own great-great aunt, Rachel Agnes Mason, descendent of Irish immigrants.
Jo thinks that because the history books have omitted many women’s contributions, few of us recognize their role in shaping this country. “Unless you were connected to some male who was famous, women have been relegated to the foot notes of the texts. In fact, until the last century if a woman spoke publicly to men, that audience was labeled licentious. To be called a “strong” woman was considered a slur.” Whichever woman she is playing, Jo likes that woman the best especially when the audience members are stimulated to ask questions.
Jo Swanson as Victoria