Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today hosted a town hall discussion at the Maryland Women's Heritage Center as part of Interior's ongoing efforts to capture and tell a more inclusive story of America.
Attended by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, First Lady of Maryland Judge Katie O'Malley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Rachel Jacobson, and more than 60 leaders in the women's history and heritage movement, the town hall focused on efforts to preserve and highlight the many contributions of women throughout American history.
"Interior has the unique responsibility and privilege to ensure that America's full story is told to current and future generations. This means celebrating the contributions of women throughout America's history - not just in our textbooks, but through the places that belong to all of us, like our national parks and landmarks," said Salazar. "America's story is work in progress, and I look forward to working with the National Park Service and our partners across the country to paint a much fuller picture of the people and events that make up our national heritage."
Interior's National Park Service -- through its parks, national historic landmarks, and educational programs -- plays an integral role in telling America's story. At present, however, less than 8 percent of the National Park System is estimated to be dedicated to women or women's achievements.
The Northeast Region of the National Park Service has a successful working partnership with the National Collaborative for Women's History Sites to help interpret women's history in that region of the country. Secretary Salazar today announced that Interior is working to expand and build this into a national agreement.
Additionally, the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2009, included the "National Women's Rights History Project Act." The bill authorizes the National Park Service to conduct a study of women's suffrage and women's rights historic sites across the country, and Interior is taking steps to launch the theme study.
There are 12 units of the National Park System that focus primarily on women, including the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca in New York; the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond; the Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts; the Clara Barton National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.; and the Rosie the Riveter World War II Homefront National Historic Park in California.
For more information, please visit to: www.nps.gov.