May Mann Jennings was no stranger to the political world, and therefore made great contributions to the state of Florida in her career. Her father was a State Senator of Florida and her husband was Florida governor, William Sherman Jennings. She was known as an activist for various causes, including environmental conservation, child welfare, and women’s suffrage.
Growing up, she was brought up in a highly respected political family. Since she had extensive knowledge of state politics due to her wide network of the Florida Federation of Woman’s Club (FFWC), Jennings has been credited for her husband’s ascension in the state’s Democratic party. She also served as the President of the Florida Federation of Woman’s Club from 1914-1917 and was Vice President of the General Federation of Women’s Club.
In 1920, Jennings became a co-founder of the Florida chapter of the League of Women Voters. During her tenure in the FFWC, she joined a beautification committee, in which she helped get the Royal Palm State Park established. Jennings continued to push for the creation of the National Everglades Park. It was due to these environmental efforts that she became known as the “Mother of Florida Forestry.”
Jennings achieved various honors and successes during a time when women in politics was nothing but a joke. She spearheaded various efforts and was a serious politician, even without the official title.
If you’d like to learn more about May Mann Jennings, feel free to review this online text provided by Estefania from our Strong Blogging Corps!
I wonder, how can women create their own legacy within surroundings of a male-dominated occupation? What can we take away from Jenning’s career to apply to our own?

Estefania Pugliese is a communications intern for the South Florida Office. She is a Mount Holyoke student, and Posse Scholar. She is currently studying Economics and International Relations.