On the last day of National Women's History Month, I gave a speech at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. A young man, who is a visiting student from Rwanda, approached me. He was very eager and proud to tell me that in September 2008 Rwanda's parliament became the first in the world where women became the majority — 56 percent, including the speaker's chair.
I am sharing this wonderful exchange because on July 19 and 20, we in the United States will celebrate the 163rd Anniversary of the First Women's Rights Conference held in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848. It was at this conference that the demand for women's right to vote was first voiced. It took 72 years for U.S. women to finally win the right to vote on August 26, 1920. Still, I am certain that the determination, tenacity, and courage of these women and their political campaign for democracy was an important inspiration for the people of Rwanda as they formed their democracy.
To celebrate Women and Democracy, the NWHP gives our highest recommendations along with a 20% Discount Women and Democracy for your Summer Reading.
Of Thee I Sing - A Letter to My Daughters
This book by President Barack Obama, although not exclusively about women, celebrates the spirit of American democracy with moving tributes to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that shaped our nation. At this time in our nation's history, this beautifully illustrated children's book speaks to all Americans, testifying to the importance of role-models and America's history. A delight to read aloud to the children and others in your life. Hardcover, 30 pages
A Friendship That Changed the World Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
This amazing story told by award-winning author Penny Colman is the perfect read for those who know very little about Anthony and Stanton, as well as for those who know a lot. Their story reminds us of the importance of believing in all that America can be, and reveals the importance and power of a real friendship. Hardcover, 250 pages
Deep in Our Hearts- Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement
As our country honors the 50th anniversary of the Freedom rides, Deep in Our Hearts adds an inspiring dimension. Why did nine white women cross the color line in the days of segregation to join the Southern Freedom Movement? What did they see, do, think, and feel in those uncertain but hopeful days? And how did their experiences shape the rest of their lives. These compelling first-person accounts take us back to one of the most tumultuous periods in our nation's history. Paper, 400 pages
When and Where I Enter - The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America
Although this book was first published in 1984, we recommend this edition for those who might have missed it when it was first published, as well as for the generation born since its publication. An eloquent testimonial to the profound influence of African-American women on race and women's movements throughout American history, this is a must read. Author Paula Giddings, uses diaries, letters, and other original documents to powerfully portray how black women have transcended racist and sexist attitudes --often confronting white feminists and black male leaders alike -- to initiate social and political reform. Paper, 400 pages
Use thisyear's theme, Our History is Our Strength, to plan your own celebration of democracy on July 19th or 20th or on August 26th, the 91st Anniversary of Women Winning the Vote.
Our Summer Auction, which will soon be announced, will also use Our History is Our Strength as its theme.
Have a terrific summer.
Thanks for all your support,
July Highlights in US Women's History
- July 2, 1979 - The Susan B. Anthony dollar is released
- July 2, 1937 - Amelia Earhart's plane is lost in the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.
- July 2, 1964 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act; Title VII prohibits sex discrimination in employment
- July 4, 1876 - Suffragists crash the official program at the Centennial Celebration in Independence Hall to present the Vice President with the "Declaration of the Rights of Women" written by Matilda Joslyn Gage
- July 6, 1957 - Althea Gibson is the first African American woman player to win a Wimbledon title in women's tennis singles
- July 7, 1981 - President Reagan nominates Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman Supreme Court Justice
- July 12, 1984 - Representative Geraldine Ferraro (D-New York) is chosen as the first female to run for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic Party ticket with Walter Mondale (D-Minnesota)
- July 14, 1917 - 16 women from the National Women's Party were arrested while picketing the White House demanding women's suffrage; they were charged with obstructing traffic
- July 19-20, 1848 - The Seneca Falls Convention, the country's first women's rights convention, is held in Seneca Falls, New York
- July 20, 1942 - The first class of Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) begins at Fort Des Moines, IA
- July 7, 1861 (1912) - Nettie Stevens, biologist, discovered X and Y sex chromosomes
- July 8, 1926 (2004) - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, writer and lecturer, developed techniques for counseling the dying and their families
- July 10, 1875 (1955) - Mary McLeod Bethune, educator, served as Minority Affairs Advisor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- July 16, 1821 (1910) - Mary Baker Eddy, founded the Church of Christ, Scientist
- July 16, 1862 (1931) - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, crusader against lynching
- July 12, 1856 (1913) - Louise Bethune, first woman architect in 1881
- July 22, 1849 (1887) - Emma Lazarus, poet, wrote "The New Colossus," (1883), which was later inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"
- July 23, 1844 (1929) - Harriet Strong, agriculturist; patented water storage dams
- July 24, 1920 (1998) - Bella Abzug, lawyer, Congresswoman (D-New York), 1972-1976, political activist; initiated proposal for Women's Equality Day
- July 28, 1879 (1966) - Lucy Burns, suffragist; formed National Woman's Party with Alice Paul; picketed the White House for women suffrage and arrested 6 times
- July 28, 1929 (1994) - Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, First Lady, 1961-1963, photographer and book editor; established White House Historical Association
July 30, 1939 - Eleanor Smeal, women's rights activist; publisher of Ms. Magazine for the Feminist Majority Foundation; president of National Organization for Women (NOW),1977-1982 and 1985 -1987
Whose birthdaydo you share?
Take a lookat thisoversized poster with day by day birthday listings of over 750 women from US history.Alphabetical list included for cross reference. 24" x 37" by Margaret Zierdt Poster:Celebrate Women +Index
For celebrationresources, visit our webstore, which is accessible from our home page www.nwhp.org.
20% Discount Women and Democracy Summer Reading
Women's Rights and Women's Equality Day Resources