As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. No reopening date has been announced; see our website and social media channels for updates.
Three years ago our museum convened a diverse group of scholars and educators to help a team brainstorm a new exhibition about women's history to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. After two days of presentations, discussions, and workshopping, we had a bold new idea—we were going to create an exhibition about girlhood.
A sudden tragedy thrust Rebecca Lukens into the family business and into history, making her the nation’s first woman industrialist and the only woman to run and eventually own an iron mill in the United States during the 1800s.
On January 6, my wife and I watched the live news broadcasts in disbelief at the scenes unfolding on television, as a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the constitutionally mandated joint session of Congress presided over by the vice president to ratify the 2020 election results.