“We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.” —Susan B. Anthony, Declaration of Rights for Women, July 1876
We fought for suffrage… for how long?! Almost 100 years. Yes– it took activists and reformers almost 100 years of strikes, strife and struggle for women to gain the right to vote. Alas, thanks to our revolutionaries, on August 26th, 1920 Secretary of State, Bainbridge Colby, signed the proclamation that ratified the 19th Amendment, enfranchizing all American women.
Today is National Women’s Equality Day; a day to commemorate that first declaration that American women, like men, deserved all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and were finally granted the constitutional right to vote. To celebrate these patronesses of justice we’ve put together a list of places where American Women revolutionized and made history.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park
(Seneca Falls, New York)
This park is one of many important sites in upstate New York strung along the Votes For Women History Trail, a route that connects a series of sacred grounds for the women’s rights movement. With landmarks such as the homes of key suffragettes, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Jane Hunt, and suffragist movement launching pads such as the Wesleyan Methodist Church (site of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention), this 6.8 acre site in Seneca Falls is nothing short of a sanctuary for women’s equality and hails high on our list of must-visits!
Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park (Richmond, California)
Red bandana, denim shirt, and a strong, flexed arm in the air, Rosie the Riveter is much more than just the popular Halloween costume she’s been reduced to. During World War II, 6 million women entered the workforce and Rosie the Riveter soon became the emblem of all women workers back in the home front. The Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park boasts a museum that explores the origins of the iconic female factory worker (and her “We Can Do It” motto). The museum also explores the many ways that the women brought into the workforce during World War II helped spark societal shifts towards equality.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” —Michelle Obama
(Avalanche Gulch, Montana)
Tucked away in the Big Belt Mountains in Montana, this National Historic Landmark was once the summer residence of Jeannette Rankin, the first female member of Congress and the first woman to hold national office in the United States. She was elected in 1916 and played a crucial role in passing the 19th Amendment (you know, the one that gave the right to vote). And as if that wasn’t enough, besides being a lifelong, women’s rights advocate, Rankin was also a penchant for peace; she was the only legislator to oppose a declaration of war for both World Wars!
Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
#MonumentsForAll Takeover: Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument served as home to the National Woman’s Party for nearly 90 years and was the epicenter of the struggle for women’s rights. The monument shares the story of Alice Paul, one of the unsung heroes of the women’s suffrage movement. This important tribute to the history of women’s rights is worth preserving, as are the irreplaceable artifacts protected. Speak up for your national monuments by clicking the link in our bio to tell @usinterior Secretary Ryan Zinke to #DefendOurMonuments. Photo: Courtesy of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum
Designated a national monument by President Obama on April 12, 2016, the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is home to the National Women’s Party (NWP) for nearly 90 years! It was from this house that Alice Paul (chief strategist and founder of the NWP) and the NWP developed the initial strategies and tactics to advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment that would eventually set ablaze the trail to equality for women.
Happy National Women’s Equality Day! Where will you go to celebrate?