Celebrate Women’s History Month With The National Archives

The National Archives celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women's Day
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Washington, DC, March 8, 2022 – The National Archives celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women's Day with special virtual programs on topics including women abolitionists, suffragists, ornithologists, and more! See our extensive related Women’s History Month online resources. All programs are virtual and Eastern Time.

BOOK TALK: Female Genius: Eliza Harriot and George Washington at the Dawn of the Constitution

Tuesday, March 8, at 1 p.m. Register online. Watch live or later on our YouTube Channel.

Mary Sarah Bilder looks to the 1780s—the age of the Constitution—to investigate the rise of a radical new idea in the English-speaking world: female genius. English-born Eliza Harriot Barons O’Connor delivered a University of Pennsylvania lecture attended by George Washington as he and other Constitutional Convention delegates gathered in Philadelphia. As the first such public female lecturer, she may have inspired the gender-neutral language of the Constitution.

Female Genius reconstructs Harriot’s transatlantic life, including her many lectures and the academies she founded, which inspired countless young women to consider a college education and a role in the political forum. Joining the author in conversation will be Martha S. Jones, professor of history, Johns Hopkins University. Women's History Month programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

KIDS PROGRAM: Meet Girl Scouts Founder Juliette Gordon Low

Thursday, March 17, 11 am, Watch online live or later on our YouTube Channel.

“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we’re its makers,” stated Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low. In this National Archives Comes Alive: Young Learner’s Program, kids will “meet” Juliette Gordon Low, as portrayed by Betsey Means of WomanLore, and learn how Low, born into a life of privilege and wealth, discovered a social cause to which she would devote the rest of her life. An enthusiastic organizer and fundraiser, Low led the formation of the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912.

In 1917, she convinced Lou Henry Hoover to become the National Vice President of the Girl Scouts, and Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife, to become the Honorary President of the Girl Scouts. Every First Lady since Edith Wilson has served as the Honorary President of the Girl Scouts. A Q&A session with Low will follow the presentation.

BOOK TALK: Only the Clothes on Her Back: Clothing and the Hidden History of Power in the 19th-Century United States

Thursday, March 17, 1 pm; Register online. Watch online live or later on our YouTube Channel.

What can dresses, bed linens, waistcoats, pantaloons, shoes, and kerchiefs tell us about the legal status of the least powerful members of American society? Historian Laura F. Edwards uses these textiles to tell a revealing story of ordinary people and how they made use of their material goods' economic and legal value in the period between the Revolution and the Civil War. Edwards shows that these stories are about far more than cloth and clothing; they reshape our understanding of law and the economy in America. Adam Rothman, Professor of History at Georgetown University, will join the author in this conversation. Women's History Month programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Working for Suffrage: How Class and Race Shaped the U.S. Suffrage Movement

Friday, March 18 at 1 pm; Register online. Watch live or later on our YouTube Channel.

The fight for women’s suffrage was a long-fought battle with support from national well-organized groups. Working-class women involved in grassroots efforts and other reform movements played a significant role in the fight for the right to vote. Historians Page Harrington, Cathleen Cahill, and Alison Parker will discuss these women and the roles they played. Harrington is a public historian specializing in 20th Century women’s history. Cahill is a social historian and an associate professor of history at Penn State University. Parker, who chairs the History Department at the University of Delaware, is a scholar of women and gender, race, and the law in U.S. history. Women's History Month programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Extraordinary Life and Legacy

C-SPAN airing of National Archives’ program March 19 and 20, 2022, at 5:45 am.

Hear two top Eleanor Roosevelt scholars discuss Eleanor Roosevelt’s life—and her life’s work, especially in human and women’s rights. Writer Allida Black spoke with biographer David Michaelis about his book Eleanor: A Biography, a single-volume portrait of the First Lady, diplomat, activist, and humanitarian. See related online resources from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, one of 15 National Archives Presidential Libraries. Presented in partnership with the Concord Museum. See the National Archives press release for the original 11/4/2021 program.

BOOK TALK: Vesper Flights: A Conversation with Helen Macdonald

Tuesday, March 22, at 5 pm; Register online. Watch live or later on our YouTube Channel.

Henry David Thoreau once remarked: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” One of his intellectual and spiritual heirs is Helen Macdonald, bestselling author of H Is for Hawk. Concord Museum director Tom Putnam will join her in a conversation about her newest collection of essays, Vesper Flights, in which she writes about “those moments where mystery arises from the meeting of human art and unpredictable natural phenomena.” This program is presented in partnership with the Concord Museum. Following the discussion, the Concord Museum will launch a Thoreau microsite funded, in part, through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

BOOK TALK: The Color of Abolition: How a Printer, a Prophet, and a Contessa Moved a Nation

Wednesday, March 23, at 1 pm; Register online. Watch live or later on our YouTube Channel.

Learn about the fascinating, fraught alliance among Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Maria Weston Chapman—and how its breakup led to the success of America’s abolitionist movement. Author Linda Hirshman focuses on the women in this movement including Maria Weston Chapman, known as “the Contessa,” who raised money and managed Douglass’s speaking tour from her Boston townhouse. Joining the author in conversation will be Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for the Washington Post.

COMING SOON: Title IX 50th Anniversary: Featured Document Display and exhibit!

Title IX Featured Display: June 21–September 7, 2022

Display of the Senate vote tally for S. 659 (Title IX), March 1, 1972.

Display of Public Law 107-255: Joint Resolution recognizing the contributions of Patsy Takemoto Mink, signed on October 29, 2002.

All American: The Power of Sports exhibit, Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery

September 16, 2022, through January 7, 2024

All American has an entire section on Title IX, including a display of the original Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment Act, and features Althea Gibson, Kathrine Switzer, Billie Jean King, #SheBelieves (Women's World Cup), the WNBA, Dominique Dawes, and more! All American: The Power of Sports is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of AT&T, AARP, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support provided by HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family.

See also: Women’s Rights: Legislation and Advocacy

Since the founding of our country, women have redefined their roles and carved out a place for themselves in society and government. From the decades-long campaign for voting rights to expanding social and economic equality through legislation, women and women’s rights advocates have worked to obtain the rights and privileges of citizenship promised to women today.

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