March Is Women’s History Month

Suffrage Statue

And as I stated a few posts ago, every month and everyday should be Women’s History Month.

One way to honor the women who have made our world what it is – and the young girls and women who are following in their footsteps – is to learn something new about a woman in history from your community, your family, or who has contributed nationally or internationally – from big to small contributions – every contribution means something.

And here is another thing to think about when contemplating the role of women in our society – did you know, that of all the monuments on the National Mall in Washington, DC, none has been built exclusively to honor women in our history? The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) has been striving to change that for many years. In December, their bill to form a commission was signed into law – meaning now they can fund, staff, and aid a commission to determine the feasibility of such a museum (it’s a long and tedious process). In the past, such commissions for monuments and museums on the Mall were government funded but this time – and from now on (guess they figured the ones to be the first to fund it privately would be women because WE CAN DO IT!) – it has to all come from private monies. There is one spot left on the Mall for one more museum. In the words of the NWHM, being on the Mall would mean mainstreaming women’s history. Mitchell House is a charter member of the NWHM. This is the same group that raised the funds to bring the sculpture you see here out of the Capitol basement (Yes, the founding mothers of women’s rights were relegated to the basement) and into the Rotunda. Lucretia Coffin Mott – a native Nantucketer, Quaker, and distant cousin of Maria’s – Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are featured in this sculpture.

This is a group well-worth the support of all of us. It’s high time our government and all of us, “remembered the ladies.”

JNLF

Maria Given More “Face Time” by the NWHM

NWHMPamphlet

A few posts ago, I mentioned that Maria Mitchell was being honored by the National Women’s History Museum by having an award named in her honor this year. The awardee was Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician who has accomplished a great deal in her long life, including starting college at age fifteen. She is a pioneer among women and blacks in our country.

Mitchell House’s membership renewal for NWHM came across my desk today and when I opened it, I was pleased to see that a small brochure highlighting some of their awardees and other accomplished American women was included. And, as you can see, Maria Mitchell is front and center right next to Ms. Johnson. Maria was featured in a short film that the NWHM created for the award ceremony and MMA brochures went home with the hundreds of attendees at the ceremony in their gift bags. Thank you NWHM for including Maria; for honoring her and recognizing her accomplishments!

JNLF

National Women’s History Museum and Maria Mitchell

Yes, in case you were not aware, there is a National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) – well, not a bricks and mortar building yet! This organization has been working diligently for many years to secure the last place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to honor American women – just as all the men folk have been honored. We tend to forget that where male history took place, there were always females too – even on the battlefield!

The NWHM has for a few years been honoring women of today in the name of women from our past. This year, Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician, is being honored in the name of Maria Mitchell! The thought behind these honors is that the women of today are standing on the shoulders of these ground-breaking women of the past. A short video is being created by the NWHM that incorporates Maria and Katherine Johnson and they are using numerous historic photographs from the collection of our archives. Take home gift bags will include a MMA brochure. The attendees are women from all walks of life here in the US – from US senators and US representative to CEOs and movie stars (Meryl Streep pledged one million dollars to the NWHM a few years ago) to business owners and even curators (though while invited, I am not going to be in attendance unfortunately).

It’s a very exciting recognition of Maria and as a Charter Member of the NWHM, the Mitchell House might have a button or two popping. So congratulations to Katherine Johnson and yeah for Maria!

To learn more about the NWHM Honors and the NWHM, please visit https://www.nwhm.org/

JNLF