In 1980 the National Women’s History Project successfully lobbied Congress to designate March as Women’s History Month. Twenty-eight years later it is celebrated across the nation. Some years back when my husband and I were living in upstate New York, we took a trip up to Seneca Falls often considered the birthplace of the women’s movement. In Seneca Falls, we visited the Women’s National Park (and also subsequently had the best doughnut of our lives in a little bakery whose name I have now forgotten).
After being denied a seat and a voice at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in June of 1840, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton decided to hold a convention on women’s rights upon their return to the United States. In July of 1848, the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls. The public was invited to discuss the “social, civil and religious condition of women”. More than a hundred attended including women and men. This is considered the first meeting where a woman, Abigail Bush as the elected President, presided over a meeting of both genders. Mrs. Peg Houghton Perry was my library guru and mentor. Her mother Katharine Martha Houghton was very involved in the first women’s rights and birth control movements. Her father Dr. Thomas Norval Hepburn also supported the movements. One story she shared with me was a sign that her parents devised for a mock voting booth for election day. The sign read: “Criminals, the insane, and women vote here”.
For more on the National Women’s History Project: http://www.nwhp.org
All month, check out our book display in the library featuring “Women in their own voices”
And, check out these picks:
Flapper: a Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made American Modern by Joshua Zeitz 973.91 ZEI
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak 813.52 REH
Not for Ourselves Alone: the Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: an illustrated History by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns 305.42 WAR
The Rise of the New Woman: the Women’s Movement in America, 1875- 1930 by Jean V. Matthews 305.42 MAT
Ann Marie is the Library Director of OWL