History of Women's Rights, Parks Intersect

News Sentinel, May 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

History of Women's Rights, Parks Intersect


Recently, the history of women's rights and American parks converged as we celebrated the establishment of the Sewall-Belmont House National Monument and the centennial of the National Park Service.

One hundred years ago, Alice Paul founded the National Women's Party to fight for women's suffrage in the United States. The fight culminated in victory when women were guaranteed the right through the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

One hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that established the National Park Service.

Women's rights and the Park Service have seen much progress in the last 100 years, but there is still work to do.

With last week's announcement, we've seen a step in the right direction. President Barack Obama signed a proclamation to establish the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Women's Party and center for the women's suffrage movement, as our newest national monument. This recognition will preserve this important part of American history and share the most complete collection of suffrage and equal rights movement artifacts in America. These documents, banners, newsletters, sashes and lobbying cards help tell the story of women in America.

As a former National Park Service employee, I'm proud to support a park system that is growing to more accurately reflect the diverse range of stories and places in American history. …

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