Celebrating Women's History at the DAR Museum

Written by: Katie Cannon, DAR Museum Curator of Education
April 18, 2019

On March 23, we welcomed over 400 guests to Memorial Continental Hall to celebrate important women in America’s history! Guests of all ages explored museum collections and participated in games and crafts related to the selected women.

Budding scientists followed in the footsteps of botanist Ynes Mexia, a Mexican-American woman born in Washington, DC. Her work with plants prompted our visitors to explore seed dispersal by designing seeds that could be spread by wind, and then test their designs with a fan and measuring tape. Then they discovered more about the importance of botany in the quilts of the museum’s current exhibit, A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts.

Explorers traveled around the world with Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland by seeking answers to questions in the museum’s period rooms. They also played a reproduction of a board game in the museum’s collection, Round the World with Nellie Bly, published in 1890—the same year Nellie broke the world record for circumnavigating the globe.

Fellow suffragists supported DAR member Alice Paul by making “Votes for Women” sashes in the National Woman’s Party colors of purple and gold. Alice Paul organized the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession, the first of its kind, which ended at the DAR’s Memorial Continental Hall!

New to the event this year, the DAR Museum was thrilled to partner with 19: The Musical, a new musical that tells the dynamic and little-known story of Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt and the suffragists who fought for equal rights for women nearly 100 years ago. Presented by the One Woman, One Vote Festival, the 19: The Musical cast performed selected songs and scenes to a SOLD OUT audience in the newly renovated Banquet Hall.

We are proud to highlight the important contributions of women to American history and culture through the museum’s collections and partnerships with local organizations. In addition to 19: The Musical, we were joined at the event by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Historian General’s Office, and the DAR Library.

We will host this event again in 2020, so stay tuned for details!

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