NWHM Launches its Fall Lecture Series with a talk from Smithsonian’s Dr. Richard Kurin

The National Women’s History Museum continues its “Past, Present and Future of U.S. Women’s History” lecture series at the Woodrow Wilson Center this fall with a lecture on September 19 from Dr. Richard Kurin on his new book “MadCap May: Mistress of Myth, Men and Hope.” Dr. Kurin is the current Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture at the Smithsonian. His book, which will be released on September 4th, explores the life story of the outrageous May Yohe (1866-1938), a popular entertainer of humble American origins who charmed her way to international acclaim despite tragic losses.

Eleanor Clift, contributing editor at Newsweek and The DailyBeast, will interview Dr. Kurin on his book on Sept 19th at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th floor Flom Auditorium from 4-5:30pm. The talk will be followed by a reception from 5:30-6pm. The event is free and open to the public.

May Yohe was a popular entertainer from humble American origins who married and then abandoned a wealthy English Lord who owned the fabled Hope diamond–one of the most valuable objects in the world and now exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. May was a romantic who had numerous lovers and at least three husbands–though the tabloids rumored twelve.  One included the playboy son of the Mayor of New York. May separated from him–twice–and cared for her next husband, a South African war hero and invalid whom she later shot.Crossing paths with Ethel Barrymore, Boris Karloff, Oscar Hammerstein, Teddy Roosevelt, Consuelo Vanderbilt, and the Prince of Wales, May Yohe was a foul-mouthed, sweet-voiced showgirl who drew both the praise and rebuke of Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw. Nicknamed “Madcap May,” she was a favorite of the press. In later years she faced several maternity claims and a law suit which she won.  She was hospitalized in an insane asylum and escaped. She ran a rubber plantation in Singapore, a hotel in New Hampshire, and a chicken farm in Los Angeles. When all else failed, she washed floors in a Seattle shipyard, and during the Depression held a job as a government clerk. Shortly before her death, she fought, successfully, to regain her lost U.S. citizenship.

Please join us for this fascinating lecture:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 – Lecture, 4-5:30 p.m. – Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor

Reception, 5:30-6 p.m., Sixth Floor Dining Room

Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20004

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested.

Please respond with acceptances only to swinston@nwhm.org

Please allow time to go through building security.

Directions to the Wilson Center are available at: www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

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