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Boston Public Library in Collaboration with WGBH Virtual Event

September 15, 2020 at 6:00 pm7:30 pm

Please join us—it’s free!–at the Boston Public Library in partnership with the WGBH Forum Network for an online Lowell Lecture with Kathrine Switzer, author of Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports. BPL President David Leonard will moderate this program, which is part of our “Arc of History: Contested Perspectives” series. This conversation is also part of the esteemed Lowell Lecture series at the Boston Public library. To register, please visit this link.

In her book, Switzer describes how she registered to compete, saying, “there was nothing about gender in the marathon. I filled in my AAU number, plunked down $3 cash as entry fee, signed as I always sign my name, ‘K.V. Switzer,’ and went to the university infirmary to get a fitness certificate.” During the marathon she was accosted by race officials who tried to take away her bib number. As a result of Switzer’s act, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) banned women from competing in races against men until 1972, when the Boston Marathon established an official women’s race.

Switzer was originally going to join us during the week of the 2020 Boston Marathon to discuss these barrier-breaking moments on the racecourse and in life. The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the cancellation of the Boston Marathon in April 2020. In its stead, the Boston Athletic Association is hosting a series of virtual events in the second week of September. Learn more at this link.

Part of the Boston Public Library’s mission is to support lifelong learning, education and civic engagement that is “Free to All” including programs that bring figures and experts of note into conversation and dialogue. Arc of History: Contested Perspectives is a mini-series informed by historical moments and movements, recent and long past. The series is presented virtually in conjunction with the Lowell Institute and is produced and archived by the WGBH Forum network. For more information, please visit this link.


September 15, 2020
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm