Women’s role in U.S. history should be honored on the MallRoundup
tags: National Women’s History Museum, NWHM
On the evening of April 26, 1777, 16-year-old Sybil Ludington, the daughter of a respected militia colonel, jumped on her horse and rode from her family’s home in Patterson, N.Y., to warn of an impending attack by the British. Sybil rode 40 miles in a rainstorm over muddy roads that night. By the time she returned home, the militia had gathered and succeeded in pushing the British back to their boats in what became known as the Battle of Ridgefield. Ludington rode twice as far as Paul Revere did two years earlier, and Gen. George Washington even visited her home to thank her. Yet she and her heroic actions have been largely forgotten. Sadly, this is true of countless women who helped shape this nation.
Today there exists an opportunity to right the course of history. In May, bipartisan legislation to form a privately funded congressional commission to study and recommend a building site for the National Women’s History Museum passed the House by a landslide vote of 383 to 33. I am hopeful that the Senate will follow suit. The achievements and contributions of women, as individuals and collectively, are woefully missing from much of U.S. history. Is it any wonder that women throughout the nation have struggled to “lean in”? If the critical and indispensable contributions that women have made to our nation were woven into mainstream U.S. history, they would already be in.
Our children learn about Einstein, Edison, Franklin, Whitney and many other male scientists and inventors in elementary school. Where are the women? Millions of dollars are being invested in projects and programs designed to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. Extensive research has been conducted into why more women have not chosen this route, and one of the findings that comes up again and again is the lack of female role models...
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