The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument preserves decades of passionate work in the struggle for suffrage and gender equality. Here's a peek at some of this colorful history.
Today, President Obama declared the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in Washington, D.C., a national park site. This new unit, now officially the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, served as the headquarters for the National Woman’s Party, an organization that fought for decades to improve conditions for women. This group helped to pass hundreds of pieces of legislation, including the 19th Amendment, which gave women in every U.S. state the right to vote (though many African-American women remained unable to vote for several decades).
These ambitious and persistent women endured hunger strikes and violence and scorn at a time when there were no road maps on how to conduct a successful advocacy campaign. It’s hard to imagine now what it would be like to live in a world where women couldn’t cast votes. That’s why we need to preserve this important place—so we can remember and appreciate what these brave women did on behalf of everyone who came after them.
Below are eight glimpses into the important history preserved by our newest national park site.
About the author
Jennifer Errick Managing Editor of Online Communications
Jennifer co-produces NPCA's podcast, The Secret Lives of Parks, and writes, edits and moderates online content.