About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "American Queenmaker: How Missy Meloney Brought Women into Politics"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
January 21, 2020

Good afternoon, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased you could join us for this afternoon’s program, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through Facebook or YouTube.

Before we hear from Julie Des Jardins about her new book, American Queenmaker: How Missy Meloney Brought Women into Politics, I’d like to tell you about two other programs coming up here on Thursday, January 23.

At noon, historian Kathy Peiss will discuss her book, Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe. Her work reveals how book and document collecting became part of intelligence-gathering, military planning, and postwar reconstruction.

And at 7 p.m., we will host a screening of One Woman, One Vote in honor of the 25th anniversary of that PBS documentary. The film documents the 70-year struggle for women's suffrage that culminated in the passing of the 19th Amendment and

To keep informed about events throughout the year, check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Check out their website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about them and join online.

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Today’s talk is part of a series of programs related to our special exhibit upstairs in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery: Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote. This exhibit is the cornerstone of our centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, which secured women's right to vote in the Constitution.

The decades-long fight for the vote in the 19th and early 20th centuries engaged large numbers of women in the political process and enforced the notion that women’s voices needed to be heard. Missy Meloney supported the efforts of women who pursued their own careers and causes, and after the passage of the 19th Amendment, encouraged candidates to engage with and appeal to women directly.

As our Rightfully Hers exhibit points out, the ratification of the 19th Amendment was not the end of the story. People like Missy Meloney continued to push for equal treatment in many areas of public life.

To learn about Missy Meloney— journalist, magazine editor, and political adviser—we’ll turn now to Julie Des Jardins.

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Julie Des Jardins is a historian of American women and gender who has taught and written extensively, particularly on the history of women in the professions. She has written several books—including Women and the Historical Enterprise in America: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Memory; The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science; Lillian Gilbreth: Redefining Domesticity; and Walter Camp: Football and the Modern Man—along with pieces for blogs, journals, and Oxford’s History of History Writing. Professor Des Jardins has spoken about her research on NPR and C-SPAN Book TV and lectured around the country on the history of women in STEM fields. She has a Ph.D. in American history from Brown University and was professor of history at Baruch College, City University of New York. She has also taught at Harvard University, Augsburg College, Hamline University, Macalester College, Simmons College, and Tufts University.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Julie Des Jardins.