Senator and Mrs. John Breaux Participate in Presentation of National Archives Educational Resource
Press Release · Friday, October 27, 2000

Washington, DC

Senator and Mrs. John Breaux will present a National Archives educational publication on women's contributions to democracy in a brief ceremony and press conference to be held at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, October 31, 2000. The press is invited to attend.

Through grants from Acadian Ambulance and Air Med Services, Entergy Services, Inc., The ESOP Association, Long Law Firm, LLP, and United Parcel Service, and with the assistance of Senator and Mrs. John Breaux, the Our Mothers Before Us: Women and Democracy, 1789 - 1920 educational document resource will be distributed to every high school in Louisiana. Developed and distributed with private funding, Our Mothers Before Us brings original historical documents from the records of Congress to Louisiana students.

Our Mothers Before Us features realistic color facsimiles of petitions from famous women, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and from ordinary women who joined together to make their voices heard in the halls of Congress. Archivist of the United State John W. Carlin said, "Developed for civic and history classes, this material promises to enliven the study of American history by allowing students to experience first-hand the thrill of 'discovering' and interpreting events of national importance." The documents are from the records of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, maintained at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives.

The Center's staff worked closely with leading historians and history teachers to develop a resource that complements standard high school curricula. Each unit includes historical overviews, document essays, teaching strategies, and instructional materials. Our Mothers Before Us also includes a glossary, a list of suggested readings, and an impressive fold-out time line that situates women and their civic activities in the scope of American history.

Our Mothers Before Us is distributed with private-sector support obtained by the Foundation for the National Archives. In addition to Louisiana high schools, Our Mothers Before Us has also been distributed to high schools in Texas; Tennessee; Mississippi; Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metropolitan area; Cleveland, Ohio; and Boston, Massachusetts. The Fannie Mae Foundation and Southwest Airlines have generously provided national support for the project. Additional support was provided by AT&T, the LBJ Family Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication, Inc., Nestle USA, Inc., and the Oracle Corporation. The Foundation for the National Archives continues to seek private funding for distribution in additional states. Individual copies of Our Mothers Before Us may be purchased from the National Archives Book Store (1-800-234-8861) for $59.95 plus an additional $5.00 for shipping and handling.

For additional information regarding the event or the educational resource, contact Michael Gillette, Director of the Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, at (202) 501-5350


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