Press/Journalists

Melania & Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era
Press Release · Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Washington, DC

The National Archives celebrates the centennial of woman suffrage with it’s exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote and a series of related free public programs. Program topics in December will will look at the lives and careers of 1970s Congresswoman Bella Abzug, and First Lady Melania Trump and former First Lady Michelle Obama. 

The programs are free and open to the public and will be held at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC.   Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.  Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. Reservations are recommended and can be made online. For those without reservations, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Ttheater doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program. Late seating will not be permitted 20 minutes after the program begins.

BOOK TALK & SIGNING: Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug
Thursday, December 12
Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
Elected to the House of Representatives in 1970, Bella Abzug became a galvanizing force in the Democrats’ “New Politics” insurgency and advanced the feminist agenda in ways big and small. In Battling Bella, historian Leandra Ruth Zarnow discusses how Bella Abzug’s promotion of women’s rights, gay rights, universal childcare, social justice, provoked not only fierce opposition from Republicans but caused a split within her own party. 

BOOK TALK & SIGNING: Melania and Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era
Friday, December 13
Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
In Melania and Michelle, author Tammy R. Vigil provides a compelling account of our modern First Ladies, exploring how each woman has crafted her public image and used her platform to influence the country, while also serving as a paragon of fashion and American womanhood. Exploring their lives as women rising from humble origins and their attitudes while occupying the White House, Vigil builds careful and thoughtful portraits of Melania Trump and Michelle Obama that provide a new appreciation for how these women, and the First Ladies who came before them, have shaped our country. 

Related Exhibit Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by looking beyond suffrage parades and protests to the often overlooked story behind this landmark moment in American history. This fuller retelling of the struggle for women’s voting rights illustrates the dynamic involvement of American women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, and class to reveal what it really took to win the vote for one-half of the people. On display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, through January 3, 2021. 

Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote and programs presented in conjunction with the exhibit are 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, and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation/Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.).

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For press information contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications Staff at 202-357-5300.

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This page was last reviewed on November 26, 2019.
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