Press/Journalists

America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today
Press Release · Monday, May 20, 2019

Washington, DC

Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month and our new exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, on Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m.  Pamela Nadell, American University history professor and author of America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, will share the role Jewish women played in the struggle for the 19th Amendment and women's rights.  This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum, and live streamed on YouTube.

America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, weaves together stories of a diverse group of extraordinary people―from the colonial-era matriarch Grace Nathan and her great-granddaughter, poet Emma Lazarus, to labor organizer Bessie Hillman and the great justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to scores of other activists, workers, wives, and mothers who helped carve out a Jewish American identity. A book signing follows the program. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.  Presented in partnership with the Capitol Jewish Museum and the 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative.

This special program also celebrates our new exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, that examines the relentless struggle of diverse activists throughout U.S. history to secure voting rights for all American women.  Visitors will be able to see original World War One-era Red Cross Uniforms, a National Woman's Party banner, a collection of political campaign buttons, and the original Nineteenth Amendment (on display through July 10, 2019).   Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery through January 3, 2021.

Related upcoming programs:

All Roads Lead to Power: The Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for Women
June 4, 2019, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
As professor Kaitlin Sidorsky discusses in her book All Roads Lead to Power, that many more women are appointed, rather than elected, to political office and why so many more women serve in this capacity. Sidorsky finds that entering politics through appointments is a far less partisan and negative entry point that connects to their personal lives or careers, and not due to lack of self-confidence or ambition. A book signing follows the program.

Moms in Chief: The Rhetoric of Republican Motherhood and the Spouses of Presidential Nominees, 1992-2016
June 13, 2019 at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
When Abigail Adams implored her husband to “Remember the Ladies,” John Adams scoffed, declaring, “We know better than to repeal our masculine system.” More than 200 years later, American women continue to struggle against the idea that they are simply vassal extensions of their husbands. In Moms in Chief, author Tammy R. Vigil shows how the age-old rhetoric of republican motherhood maintains its hold on the public portrayal of womanhood in American politics.  A book signing follows the program.

Female Candidates for Political Office
June 13, 2019 at 7 pm, William G. McGowan Theater
A record number of women serve as U.S. Representatives and Senators but are still only 28 percent of the entire Congress. What factors account for the large gap between men and women serving in Congress? Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri moderates a panel discussion with Ann Lewis, former White House Director of Communications; and former member of Congress Connie Morella, and others.  Presented in partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, and the National Women’s History Alliance.

The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington
July 1, 2019 at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
The Widow Washington uses archival sources to examine the life of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother. While many of her biographers have painted her as self-centered obstacle to her son, records tell a different story.  A book signing follows the program.  

Rightfully Hers is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation, Google, HISTORY ®, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support for National Outreach and Programs provided by Denise Gwyn Ferguson, BMO Financial Group, Hearst Foundations, Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, FedEx, Bernstein Family Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation/Ambassador Fay-Hartog Levin (Ret.).

Related travelling exhibit:  One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women uses National Archives records to highlight stories from American history about women’s rights and roles in society.  The exhibit explores three themes: Winning the Vote, After the Vote, and Redefining Roles.  Presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, and AARP.  Additional support provided by AT&T, Facebook, and FedEx.

Related Online Tools:  DocsTeach: Women's Rights and Roles in American History
The special webpage features primary sources and document-based teaching activities related to women's rights and changing roles in American history. Many of the documents, photographs, and other sources are also featured in the exhibits Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, and One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women. Highlights include primary documents and lesson plans on:  Petitions & Letters;  Protests & Suffrage Activities ; The Anti-Suffrage Movement;  Citizenship Rights; and Women Who Pushed The Boundaries.  

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This page was last reviewed on May 21, 2019.
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