Take a Field Trip through Women's History

It’s hard to believe we’re back into the swing of the school year already. And going back to school means…field trips! This year, how about visiting one of the museums, historic locations, or places of interest that highlight the accomplishments of women civic leaders? Check out our Programs & Places map for ideas (select Field Trip from the dropdown). If your school or youth program is looking for some good ideas, or you’re looking for some weekend fun with your children, go see where women made history and discover courageous leaders who changed the world.

If you live near Skowhegan, Maine, for example, you could visit the Margaret Chase Smith Library, which honors the legacy of the first woman elected to both houses of Congress. Paulsdale in Mount Laurel, NJ, offers tours about the suffragist Alice Paul

Paulsdale in Mount Laurel, NJ
Paulsdale. Source: www.alicepaul.org.

and her life’s work for gender equality. The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center features women such as Lillie Carroll Jackson, a trailblazing activist known as the “mother of the civil rights movement” and the organizer of Baltimore’s first branch of the NAACP. The Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in Marion showcases the contributions women have made to Alabama and the nation. Students can learn about women such as Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, an early advocate of women’s rights who helped the first female students matriculate at the University of Alabama and who was also an activist for humane prison reform, or Idella Jones Childs, who became the first African American woman to serve on the Marion City Council and was a founding member of the Black Heritage Council.

The Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame showcases the achievements and history of Michigan women, including Cora Reynolds Anderson, the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and the only Native American woman elected to the Michigan House or Senate. Further west, the Salter House and Museum in Argonia, Kansas, honors Susanna Madora Salter, the first woman elected mayor in the United States. The Molly Brown House Museum in Denver, Colorado, shares the life of activist, philanthropist and Titanic survivor Margaret “Molly” Brown, including her involvement with the juvenile justice system, her work on women’s suffrage, and her run for Congress. At the Oklahoma Territorial Museum & Historic Carnegie Library in Guthrie, visitors get to hear about Oklahoma’s first female elected official, Kate Barnard, known for being a savvy politician and an excellent public speaker.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Source: http://www.cowgirl.net.
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Source: http://www.cowgirl.net.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas honors the women whose “courage, resilience, and independence…helped shape the American West,” including Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female member of the US Supreme Court.

And of course, you can’t miss the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY.

Find more places that celebrate women’s accomplishments on our Programs & Places map and plan your visit. Know of any places of interest we should include? Tell us!