Ever since some fellow Clinton supporters (including this blogger) brought the National Women's History Museum (NWHM) to my attention during the primary campaign season, I have made the effort to keep up with Museum, particularly with its efforts to gain land on which to build a bricks-and-mortar home on the National Mall here in Washington D.C. I learned recently from Joan Wages, President of NWHM, that relevant members of Congress plan to make passing necessary legislation a top priority when the 111th Congress convenes early next year. When I called Ms. Wages' office to ask about this a couple of weeks ago, I also mentioned that I had recommended to readers that they consider memberships to the museum as gifts this holiday season but that I had noticed that the NWHM site did not make it easy to complete a gift membership online - I knew because I had just tried to give one as a birthday present to a friend.
One thing led to another and the next thing I knew I was on a spur-of-the moment quest to help NWHM find a solution. I volunteered a bit of my time, found a service provider I thought might work and the extremely capable staff of NWHM took it from there. Problem noticed, problem solved. Now, you can not only give a gift membership NWHM more easily, you can donate securely right from their website.
As has happened over and over again this year, the more I involve myself with people working hard toward progressive goals, the more I learn. And Joan Wages and her staff set an example for any nonprofit or civic organization I have ever tried to contact or work with: efficient, sensible, appreciative. It felt good to be able to do something, however small, other than simply donate money.
The NWHM will be working this year to improve its cyberhome more generally, while it continues to rally support and funds for its building on the National Mall. For now, enjoy this example of what the NWHM already has to offer.
From the National Women's History Museum cyberexhibit, Women Wielding Power: Pioneer Female State Legislators.
"From the first in Colorado in 1894 to the last in Louisiana in 1932, it took 38 years for every state to elect women as lawmakers. In contrast, 72 years passed between the first petition for the vote, in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, and the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment. Only one of 68 people who signed the 1848 declaration lived to actually vote: Charlotte Woodward had been 19 years old then, and she cast her first ballot at age 91. The second generation of female legislators was very fast in comparison: Mississippi elected Lucy Somerville Howorth in 1932 – just ten years after her mother, Nellie Nugent Somerville, had been the first. Every barrier becomes easier to break as more women demonstrate that we can, in fact, do everything."