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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Celebrating Women’s History Month in our National Parks

By Mar 11th 2011 No Comments »

This month we look back & reflect upon those women in our history who have made historic achievements. This month, we seek to honor them and their legacy. Through our National Parks, we can learn more about those who have affected the lives of millions of Americans, yesterday and today.  Our parks commemorate their achievements, from obtaining the right to vote to the establishment of the American Red Cross, the women in our history have done some pretty amazing things, so this month, we honor them…

Visiting Our Parks:

Clara Barton National Historic Site: This park commemorates the life of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. Located in Glen Echo, Maryland, this National Park Unit served as Clara’s home, headquarters for the American Red Cross and a warehouse for disaster relief efforts from 1897 until 1904.  Today, the American Red Cross has touched the lives of millions – domestically and overseas. They have lent a helping hand to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and to those affected by the Haiti earthquake – their efforts are world-wide and un-biased as they provide ‘neutral humanitarian care.’  Thank you Clara for your astounding achievements! (Clara Barton National Historic Site)

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site: President Truman dubbed Eleanor the “First Lady of the World” – and she certainly lived up to the title.  Prior to and following the death of her husband, Eleanor was a large supporter of his New Deal policies and also acted as an advocate for Civil Rights – striving to enhance the status of working women.  She was one of the co-founders of Freedom House (an international NGO that advocates for democracy, freedom & human rights) and largely supported the creation of the United Nations.  The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (also called Val-Kill) is located in Hyde Park, NY.

Everglades National Park: Did you know that the success of the preservation & conservation of Evergaldes National Park is largely due in part to Marjoy Stoneman Douglas, a freelance reporter for the Miami Herald and author of ‘The Everglades: River of Grass?’ In the 1940’s, Marjory brought to light the negative effects that commercialization and construction from population booms had wreaked on the Everglade’s ecosystem. In her book, Marjory describes the area and also includes a chapter on the disapearance of the Everglades. She writes, “what had been a river of grass and sweet water that had given meaning and life and uniqueness to this enormous geography through centuries in which man had no place here was made, in one chaotic gesture of greed and ignorance and folly, a river of fire.” Today we are grateful to have the Everglades as one of the areas protected by the National Park Service.

Lowell National Historic Park: During a time when job opportunities for women were limited if not nonexistant, America’s Industrial Revolution was in full-swing at the Lowell industrial park where they enlisted the help of hundreds of women between the ages of 15 and 35 to work in the mills. Women came from all over New England, seeking new work opportunities. It was a movement in social change that would soon lead to job equality for all. Visit Lowell National Historic Park today and be transported back to the era of textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution.

 Susan B. Anthony House: On November 18, 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested by a US Deputy Marshal for illegally voting in the 1872 Presidential Election.  Her trial & conviction hearings went as follows:

“…despite the stirring and eloquent presentation of her arguments that the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” the privileges of citizenship, and which contained no gender qualification, gave women the constitutional right to vote in federal elections. Her trial took place at the Ontario County courthouse in Canandaigua, New York, before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ward Hunt. Justice Hunt refused to allow Anthony to testify on her own behalf, allowed statements given by her at the time of her arrest to be allowed as “testimony,” explicitly ordered the jury to return a guilty verdict, refused to poll the jury afterwards, and read an opinion he had written before the trial even started. The sentence was a $100 fine, but not imprisonment; true to her word in court (“I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty”), she never paid the fine for the rest of her life, and an embarrassed U.S. Government took no collection action against her. ” (Wikipedia)

Anthony rose above the unfortunate ‘incidence’ which proved to be nothing more than an opportunity to spread the word regarding women’s rights.  She prevailed as one of the prominent Civil Rights leaders, playing a pivotal role in introducing women’s suffrage in the United States. Visit the Susan B. Anthony House which is part of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park.

Below is a list of parks who also are dedicated to the valient acts of women in our history. Take a look & explore what they have to offer this month as we celebrate their existance.

First Ladies National Historic Site
Johnstown Flood National Memorial
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
Sewall-Belmont House National Historic Landmark
Whitman Mission National Historic Site
Women’s Rights National Historic Park
Fort Pulaski National Monument

 

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