My family used to take a lot of road trips and we would stop at those markers by the side of the road that tell what important thing happened there. I remember realizing at some point that most of these markers – and most statues and monuments – were about men. I was shocked, for instance, to find out that of the 29 sculptures in New York’s Central Park, just two are female – Juliet from Romeo and Juliet and Mother Goose.
So in continuing to honor Women’s History Month, this week’s Random Five are monuments or places that play a role in the history of women and girls. Did I miss something cool from your community? Let us know in the comments!
– Seneca Falls, NY: The site of the first Woman’s Rights Convention, held in 1848, was declared an historic site 132 years later. At that convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton unveiled the woman’s ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ that began, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” The park is home to 19 life-size statues of the early women’s rights leaders who attended the convention.
Amelia Earhart Statue – North Hollywood, CA: The “Golden Girl of Aviation” is immortalized with a seven foot gilded statue in the city where she lived at the height of her fame, from 1928 until she disappeared over the Pacific in 1937.
Spelman College – Atlanta, GA: Spelman College, founded by two teachers in 1831, is the oldest school in the nation specifically dedicated to educating African American women. The school began with 11 students in a church basement, with one Bible and a pad and pencil to be shared amongst the students. Today, it boasts over 2000 students and is the home of the nationally renowned Women’s Research and Resource Center.
The “Female Paul Revere” Statue – Carmel, NY: A life-size statue in the town of Carmel, N.Y., honors Sybil Luddington, the “female Paul Revere.” In 1777, 16- year-old Luddington rode cross-country to alert members of her father’s militia to the British attack on the nearby town of Danbury, Conn.
Sacajawea Statue – Portland, OR: Unveiled in 1905 at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, this is said to be the first statue honoring a woman in the United States. Sacajawea, a Shoshone woman, became accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, in their exploration of the Western US. She traveled thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean between 1804 and 1806.
Photo: Statues of the pioneers of Women’s Suffrage, at the Women’s Rights National Park in NY.