For several decades after the Revolution, Paul Revere was as famous for his church bells as for his midnight ride. His role as a horse-...
On June 17, 1885, a French ship, the Isère, arrived in New York Harbor laden with very special cargo—more than 200 crates filled with...
As the museum's social media manager, I get to see many snapshots our visitors share on social media while they're here. Frequently...

Blog Posts in "Women's History"

A loaf of bread on a wooden surface. It is light wheat colored and the surface is rough
I do not bake. My cookies burn, my pie crust is either too dry or too sticky, and my pies turn out watery. So how did I find myself lead...
A photograph that is awash in tones of gray. A woman sits in a moor-like environment with a white dress and black shawl or robe. Her face is lifted up and her eyes are closed. Her hands are clasped together as if in prayer
Confession: This month, we celebrate Mother's Day and I'm jealous of you if you still have your mom. I lost mine to breast cancer when I...
In a black and white photo, a woman stands behind a microphone and sings in a dark room. A jazz band is behind her, and they are smiling.
"They're swingin' everything else—why not nursery rhymes?" stated Ella Fitzgerald while dancing around the room showcasing some new dance...
A coin made of grayish metal that is not polished. On it, a head in profile wears a classical war helmet. On it, there is a sprig of some sort of plant
Hillery York is the Collections Manager for the National Numismatic Collection. The objects discussed below are featured in the Women...
Piece or ribbons showing two pink flowers that may be roses or peonies, with abundant petals. Green leaves surround them. One is lighter pink, the other darker. Both are hazy in appearance.
"Spring is pre-eminently the season for ribbons," proclaimed The American Silk Journal in February 1900. As the official trade...
A dark-colored cape laid out on a white surface. It has a red lining. One can see what may be a cloche hat next to it.
"The early morning whistles blew, the water craft sounded their signals in passing, an auto truck went thumping by, and the sun shot into...
A white china teacup and saucer sit against a black background. The saucer and the cup have different European flags and the US flag on them, and all of the edges are lined with gold
"When our country entered the Great War I decided to have this chapter in our history commemorated by a patriotic china, to be made by a...
a photograph of Ella Fitzgerald. She looks up and away from the camera. She is smiling and rests on a number of records spread out on the table in front of her.
In the Archives Center, jazz always seems to be a topic of discussion, whether it be a researcher looking for the Duke Ellington Collection...
A work of art portraying a face in the fore and a red and black design in the back.
Did you ever cut a linoleum block in art class? While rolls of linoleum were used for floor covering from the 1860s, artists only began to...
A mannequin wears a blonde, spiky wig and a lacquered shift dress with green and gold daisies. The bottom hem, neckline, and sleeves are ruffled with teal, wrist-length gloves and a cigarette holder. Her shoes are green ankle-high booties with low heels and gold details.
Phyllis Diller is widely considered the first female stand-up comic to perform as a solo act. While she is mainly known for her career in...
Young woman with curly red hair and a blue button-down shirt smiles, posing beside a filing cabinet, which is beige with white labels and metal handles.
This is the second post in the series. If you missed the previous post introducing the large file in which comedian Phyllis Diller...
Black and white posed photo of women, each with their hair piled on top of their head and high-collared blouses.
On February 13, women everywhere (we hope!) will be gathering together to celebrate Galentine's Day. First introduced in 2010 by character...
Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald sit in front of a microphone
Within the Ella Fitzgerald Papers collection, a hidden gem reveals a surprising connection between Fitzgerald and President John F. Kennedy...
Old photograph of a group of people. Several women are dressed up and one is very, very tall
Irene Siewert was born in a small town in Alberta, Canada, in 1925. Siewert looked just like any other little girl until she hit 13, when...
A silver coin with a woman's likeness on the front. Reads "Liberty" at the top and "1979"
Recently there has been a significant debate about how and where to feature a woman on United States currency. In April 2016, Secretary of...
A pin, presumably for a woman. There is a gold eagle perched on top with its wings outstretched. It stands on top of a red banner saying "Remember" which is over a blue banner that says "Harbor" Between the banners is a pearl.
December 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the Pearl Harbor naval base by the Japanese Imperial Navy. In commemoration...
An old photograph in sepia tones showing a number of people sitting on stairs outside of a building. Some are women and some are men, many of whom are wearing uniforms.
Wolves, rattlesnakes, floods, fire, and stampedes—these are just some of the many dangers faced by women on the American frontier of the...
a 4-wheeled, covered wagon with messages of suffrage and equal rights painted on the side
As both a young woman casting my vote in my first presidential election and the founder of College Students for Bernie, I came to the...
Close-up photo of red sequins, cropped to a circle
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Yellow scrap of fabric in a frame. Pencil writing on fabric.
This rectangle of yellow cloth is small, only seven by nine inches, but it tells a much larger story. It begins in January 1917, when the...
a green square board with a number of small pes attached by screen to a roller contraption with a handle on which lace is stretched
Walking down a street in Chicago in 1901, Sylvester G. Lewis saw a large group of women enthralled with a lady making lace in a window...
(Detail) Poster with striking orange background. Color illustration of a young man with hand in pocket and mother with arm raised. Text: "Go! It's your duty lad. Join to-day."
When people think of World War I, they often think of soldiers fighting in trenches. But soldiers weren't the only ones doing the work of...
Poster with image of young woman in military uniform
“Wartime nursing is different,” The American Journal of Nursing soberly noted in 1943. As nurses well knew, wars always...
Image of coin with figure wearing crown
Rule by women was less common, but not unheard of in the Byzantine Empire—or in the ancient world for that matter! As such, ancient coins...
Illustration in black, grey, and brown of mother cradling one child in her skirt, among rubble, while the other holds his belly, probably hungry. (Detail)
April 6, 2016, marks the 99th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. Although the country would not be drawn into combat until...
Color block print. High, purple cliffs with a little grass and spindly trees. Sky is green.
During Women's History Month we like to celebrate women represented in the museum's collections. The Gearhart sisters lived and worked in...
Black and white photograph of a woman posing, unsmiling, with a bicycle
"Meet the Wheelwoman" is an interactive theater program created in conjunction with a new learning space at the museum, the Patrick F...
Photo of woman with short curly hair, blue dress, and large equipment
Creating art with unusual materials isn't a new idea, nor is combining art with science. But how about using a particle accelerator to...
Close up image of part of a bill. Image of woman weaving.
"How often, when man abandons the helm in despair, woman seizes it, and carries the home-ship through the storm! Man often flies from home...
 Printed portrait of Elizabeth Keckley included in her autobiography "Behind the Scenes"
This month, we've been exploring how American women made their place in the marketplace by participating in business and consumption....
Black and white illustration of woman with her hair in an up-do with flowers. Dress is off-the-shoulder style, short sleeved. Her hands are place peacefully one and top of the other.
Long before Hollywood actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn became iconic stars, popular female opera singers of the early...
Photograph of Wonderlier Tupperware set, 1954
For Women's History Month, we're taking a look at some of the ways that American women have made their place in the marketplace by...
Photo of gold coin on black background. Woman's face in profile, facing left. On her head, a crown. High collar around her neck. Prominent forehead.
In June 2015 Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew announced that the 10 dollar note will be redesigned to feature a historic woman, marking...
Black and white photo of two women looking at camera. Large hats. They wear sashes/signs that says "Picket ladies tailors strikes." Street scene.
Go to college, get a job, lose your style. Is that how this works? I am grateful for my college education and internship at the National...
Photo of the actor playing Louise, standing next to her bicycle. Setting is outdoors with tree and bush in background.
The year is 1895. Louise Gibson and her bicycle, Sylvia, are at the forefront of the bicycle craze sweeping America in the late 19th...
President Johnson sits at a desk outdoors with a view of the New York coastline in the background. Many people gather around him watching. American flag on pole beside desk.
The 1960s are known as a tumultuous decade of activism, populated by larger-than-life figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby...
Khaki uniform with skirt and collared jacket. Large brown buttons and two breast pockets. Brown lace-up boots with small heel. Brown hate with ribbon around it.
I came back from my eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., with a Rosie the Riveter poster from the museum store here (not...
Black and white ad with photo of woman in dress with polka dots and umbrella with polka dots. Text: "Silks that express the spirit of sport."
Next in our World War I series this month, a look at what we now consider a go-to, neutral fabric for almost any season.In 1915 American...
Photo of quilt panels
Americans have often banded together for the common good. That could mean marching on the National Mall to protest injustice or...
Black and white photo of women in uniforms (pants, ties, hats, boots) lined up looking at a woman who appears to be in charge.
6:00 a.m. June 16, 1916. Nestled in the Ramapo Mountains of Passaic County, New Jersey, lay an orderly row of cream-colored tents. At the...
Photo of white lace in the shape of a circle with lion and crown in center
The Women in World War I object group was a long labor of love for my internship. Essentially an online exhibition, the object...
Patter with wide white strips, thin black stripes, and stylized bird and anti illustrations
On December 18, 1915, Edith Bolling Galt married President Woodrow Wilson in a ceremony at her home in Washington, D.C. This very private...
We recently shared a blog post featuring Bette and Lindsey Hagan, the mother and daughter who through their generous support created the...
Sheet music cover with witches
How would you describe a witch? Black pointy hats probably spring to mind, as well as a range of distinguishing ugly features like crooked...
With each new season, a new crop of interns comes to the National Museum of American History. Two museum supporters, Bette and Lindsey...
A photo of the bicycle in front of a palm tree
An 1896 Columbia woman's bicycle, made by Pope Manufacturing Company and embellished with gems and gold by Tiffany & Co., is currently...
"I call it my diamond dress," cooed Broadway star Carol Channing in her distinctive voice, which combined little-girl innocence with great-...
Photo of white overalls splattered with paint
As a curator at the National Museum of American History, I find that exhibitions are one space in which I can bring history to the public....

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