Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-28), today joined with Congressman Richard Hanna (NY-24) to introduce legislation reauthorizing the National Women's Rights History Project Act. Slaughter authored the original legislation to preserve and promote historic sites in Western New York and around the country that are significant to the women's rights movement and its role in the history of our democracy.
"The struggle for women's suffrage is one of the pivotal events in the history of our nation," said Slaughter. "The courageous women who led the charge for suffrage sacrificed much and we -- the beneficiaries of their struggle and sacrifice -- have a responsibility to preserve and promote their legacy. Their efforts advanced the idea of America as a truly representative democracy and our nation is truly better because of their perseverance and commitment."
"I am privileged and honored to represent Seneca Falls, the Birthplace of Women's Rights, home to both the Women's Rights National Historical Park and the National Women's Hall of Fame," Hanna said. "Today marks the 164th anniversary of the first Women's Rights Convention where some of the greatest women in our history bravely gathered to begin a national conversation about the role of women in American society. That conversation continues today. I thank Congresswoman Slaughter for her continued work to promote this significant part of our history."
After over a decade of work by Congresswoman Slaughter, the National Women's Rights History Project Act was passed into law as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The National Women's Rights History Project Act creates a drivable women's history trail, expands the national online database of women's history sites, and establishes a partnership network to fund relevant educational programs.
The National Women's Rights History Project Act::
Creates a Votes for Women Trail: This bill established an auto route linking women's suffrage movement sites between Syracuse, NY through the Finger Lakes region and to Rochester, NY. The route was designed to allow access to many of the most prominent sites of the women's movement, including Seneca Falls and Waterloo, where the first women's rights conventions were planned and held.
Expand National Online Registry of Key Women's History Sites: The bill expands the current National Registry travel itinerary website, "Places Where Women Made History," to include additional historic sites. Many sites on the national register of historic places have not been evaluated for their association with women's history but rather are on the registry because they are significant in other areas. Additional women's rights sites may also be surveyed, evaluated, and nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Establishes a National Women's Rights History Project Partnership: The bill will establish a public-private partnership network to offer financial and technical assistance for interpretive and educational program development about the history of the fight for women's rights.