I attended a breakfast in support of the National Women’s History Museum. It was at the top of an office building which I thought was odd. I was then confronted by the news that there is currently no physical museum that celebrates women in American History.
After recovering from the shock, I learned about all the museum is doing online while waiting for approval to build a site near the National Mall. The online content allows people to take advantage of the amazing information the museum even though the building isn’t ready yet. Leave it to us women to think about how so many people may never get a chance to visit our Nation’s capital and see the museum in person. By creating a large online presence, it brings women’s history straight to all of us. Also good to know is that the NWHM has more robust materials for teachers than many other public museums.
The NWHM does not aim to rewrite history but to integrate women and their enormous impact to our current narrative.
Why Do We Need a Special Women’s History Museum?
The stories of women’s role in American history is not secret but has been relegated to a few picture books. This deprives our students, both boys, and girls, on these incredible stories of bravery, perseverance and triumph. Stories like:
- Elizabeth Glover who founded America’s first printing business in 1638.
- Julia Child’s stint as a spy during WWII
- Alice Guy Blache who was the first female film director in 1896.
A separate museum to herald these accomplishments is necessary because they are missing from our current public museums and is simply not a priority for them.
Do I Need Women’s History For My Classroom?
NWHM has invested in making women’s history accessible to all of us through many wonderful online exhibits and lesson plans. You can download and use them alongside your core social science curriculum. Price Waterhouse Cooper awarded them a grant to expand their online presence and build even more resources for education. What you see today will probably be just a fraction of what will be available in a few months. Keep checking back.
Take a look at their site and see if there is a lesson plan you can use before the end of the school year. Don’t gorget to bookmark the page to be sure you use it as a resource as you plan for next year.
If you would like to support the building of a physical museum and the creation of more great online resources become a member today.