At a House Administration Committee hearing Wednesday morning, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) presented their bipartisan bill to launch an exploratory commission on building a National Women’s History Museum, an effort that has been ongoing for almost 20 years.
The theme of the day was “sisterhood trumps party lines,” as every speaker ran down the alternately distressing (less than 5 percent of the 2,400 National Historic Landmarks in the United States recognize the achievements of women) to empowering (women outnumber men in college enrollment) statistics as proof that women are owed Mall real estate.
The two biggest obstacles, aside from the slow grind of government, are financial and logistical: Where will the money come from, and where will the museum go?
Joan Wages, president and chief executive of the National Women’s History Museum, says she believes the museum can be funded entirely through private donations. She expected that “half the nation’s population and the other half who love their mothers” would be able to raise the $400 million to $500 million estimated cost of constructing a museum, along with a $15 million to $20 million yearly operating budget.
Wages said that, in determining location, “it comes down to, where will the most people visit it? Where will it have the greatest impact?” Which means the museum must be “on or very, very close to the national Mall.”
Committee Chairman Candice S. Miller (R-Mich.) presided over the hearing, calling the museum an “important and, I think, frankly long overdue acknowledgment of women’s accomplishments” in American history.
“Sometimes, people think we can’t work together,” Miller said. “We know, as women, that we can work together.”
If you were unable to join us on December 11, 2013 at the House Administration Committee hearing on “Establishing a Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women’s History Museum,” you can view the video footage below from the testimony or by clicking here. (Skip to the 32nd minute to begin watching the testimony.)
We are delighted to announce that the House Administration Committee will hold a hearing on “Establishing a Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women’s History Museum” on Wednesday, December 11 at 10:30am EST. This is the first time that NWHM has been invited to testify.
House Bill Sponsors Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Marsha Blackburn will testify about the need for the Museum. NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages has also been invited to testify.
To those who will be (or are able to be) in the Washington, D.C. area, we would be honored to have you join us. The hearing will be held in the House Administration Committee hearing room, which is 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building.
Of course, should you be unable to join us in person, you can follow the hearing via webcast by going to the Committee website and clicking on the link to the webcast.Thank you for your continuing support of our mission. Together, we WILL succeed in honoring all of the women who have shaped this great nation by providing them the home they so richly deserve.
Margaret Bourke-White was born in New York. She completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University in 1927 and was an original staff member of Fortune and Life magazines. She became the first western photographer allowed to photograph inside the Soviet Union and covered the invasion of the Soviet Union by the German Army as well as the Italian Liberation. In 1945, she accompanied United States troops as they liberated Buchenwald Concentration Camp. She covered Gandhi’s campaign of non-violence in India and apartheid in South Africa. Since her death in 1971, her photographic works have been used by the United States Postal Service as postage stamps and her life as been portrayed on television and on the movie screen.
At just 6-years old young Ruby Bridges became the face of school integration.
Ruby Bridges was born on September 8, 1954. She was born to Lucille and Abon Bridges, who had four other children, giving Ruby three brothers and one sister. At age two, Ruby and her family moved from Tylertown, Mississippi, where her family had been sharecroppers, to New Orleans, Louisiana, because her parents sought better work opportunities.
In New Orleans, Ruby went to a segregated kindergarten. However, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1954, the year that Ruby was born, that all schools must desegregate. The decision was made in the case of Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, when the parents of another grade-school girl, Linda Brown, sued the school system of Topeka, Kansas, because Linda had to attend an all-black school outside of the neighborhood where she lived.
The law was put into place in Louisiana at the beginning of Ruby’s first grade year. Ruby and five other African-American girls were given the opportunity to attend a school made up of only Caucasians, after they passed psychological and educational tests. Ruby’s parents were faced with a critical decision.
For this reason, Lucille wanted to send Ruby to the new school. Lucille wanted to give her daughter the opportunities she never had, but Abon, Ruby’s father, was not eager to send Ruby to the new school because he did not want to endanger his family. Over time, though, Lucille convinced Abon that sending Ruby to the new school would be the best thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »