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tv   Smithsonian National Museum of American History  CSPAN  February 19, 2020 8:00pm-9:03pm EST

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second half of our program should start at 1:15 p. m. [applause] >> tomorrow we will have live coverage with secretary of
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>> good morning, and welcome to the year of the woman, which you could argue every year should be. this year is incredibly special for all in america and at the smithsonian. we are banded together in celebrating the american women's history initiative throughout the smithsonian museums, online, and through all of our activities. we are particularly grateful to have three exhibitions opening, spurring really from this one. this is democracy in america,
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the great leap of faith that opened a few years ago. i am in the gallery that takes us through the long and arduous and continuing effort to expand democracy to enfranchised more and more americans. as you might know, early on, only landed, white men with property were able to vote. in the 19th century, the long battle expanding that suffrage to slaves, previously enslaved, and women, culminating finally in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th amendment, not guaranteeing women the right to vote but barring the federal government and states from discriminating against voters because of their sex. suffrage wagons like the one behind me were taken in the field during the ratification process to encourage states and state legislators, almost all men, the vast majority -- i
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think there was only one or two sitting women -- to vote for the 19th amendment. it was painted with slogans, brightly colored. the colors of suffrage are black and gold originally and changed into purple and gold and white. the museum will open, creating icons, how we remember women's suffrage on march 6. we will be showing and taking you through the long effort to craft the regulatory framework for how women can vote and the incredible activism of women who worked tirelessly throughout a century and a half to get the vote to happen. >> in this segment as we focus on the 19th amendment, the phone lines are split up differently.
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if you want to call in and join the conversation, (202) 748-8000 if you are in the eastern or central time zone. mountain or pacific time zone, (202) 748-8001. you can start calling in. as folks are calling in, i want to focus on the ratification process. it was a 14 month process after the 19th amendment was passed by congress. was it a sure thing? how touch and go was it during those 14 months, and why did it take 14 months? >> the ratification of the amendments is probably never a sure thing. it is easy for us to look back as historians and track that, but all the amendments, the expansion amendments, reconstruction amendments after the civil war ending slavery and trying to work toward the abolishment of slavery and
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equalization of rights for african-americans, the women's movement that had worked actively since 1848, original sentiments, the declaration of sentiments penned by elizabeth caddy stanton, and we have heard table on which she wrote that, was ratified in 1848 by 68 women and 32 men, including frederick douglass, the remarkable and powerful abolitionist who believed in equality and the declaration of independence. 16 sentiments modeled after the declaration that said we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal. these are fabulous. in terms of the original declaration saying that the king had done this to men,
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elizabeth and others are saying men have done this to women. he has not ever permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise, and it ended with 16, the powerful he has endeavored in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life. those are pretty harsh words in 1848. by the time the amendment gets introduced in 1878 and voted on, sent out by an all-male congress to the states, there was really nothing insured about the passage of the 19th amendment. and remember that in order to
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get this passed, the coalitions that might women -- white women uilt excluded women of color. you have extraordinary women born into slavery, fighting against slavery, and forcibly joining, saying, these are our rights too. can you imagine how powerful it was for african-american women to get the vote? the great thing for me and all of us at the museum, nothing is preordained. it is all of the choices we make and it is those men who walked into their state houses and chose to vote for the 19th amendment. >> which states lead the way in that process? --led the way in that process, during the ratification process? >> it varied. the big states were in favor of it. a lot of it became, if women got the vote and could vote in the 1920 election, became part
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of the chess game for that, -- chess game for that, there were already women and men who were used to having women vote. the big states who wanted to swing the election of 2020 two the republicans were among the most ardent supporters. >> you talked about the declaration of sentiments earlier and we showed viewers a picture of that table that you have. >> wonderful. >> how you got that table to the smithsonian, and what happened to the original declaration? >> great story. the way in which the smithsonian acquired this original core collection that we will be displaying as the women wanted it to be displayed in 1919 is fabulous.
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they knew they were making history, so they had been petitioning the smithsonian institution to accept this collection that they had very carefully curated, and they had kind of modeled it off of what they thought to be an appropriate museum display of an important american man. so it looks kind of very genteel. there is the tea set in the table, but what is fantastic is the smithsonian, led by all men said, no, thank you.
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you do not turn people like -- lucretia mott and susan b stanton -- susan b anthony away. it will be grouped together when we open on march 6, and the declaration next to it. >> go ahead. >> who has the declaration of sentiments? >> exactly. >> i believe it is at the library of congress, but we should check on that before the show and we will get that to you. >> i appreciate the real-time fact checking. phone numbers to join this segment, eastern or central time zone, (202) 748-8000, mountain or pacific time zones, (202) 748-8001. our third stop in our "washington journal" american history tv tour visiting museums, the american history museum. the table was brought to the smithsonian that was led by only men. that is not the case anymore. you are the first woman to serve as the director of
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american -- director of the museum of american history. what does that mean? >> it is a true honor to lead this museum. i joke that one of the great things about being the first woman is no other woman will have to say that. it is incredibly important as a wife and a mother and a sister and a daughter, my roles as a woman in society, i think enable me and reinforce the way in which i have seen the world as a historian, as a nonprofit leader, and certainly here is a public historian and public servant, there is no higher calling than to be at the smithsonian at this time in our history, and especially with the exemplary leadership of our new secretary, he himself a
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historian, creating the african-american museum of history and culture. it is a special time, and i am embraced by many when in -- men and women directors. >> do you remember when you first visited the national museum of american history and how the 19th amendment, the women's suffrage movement was represented then? >> that is a great question. we came here shortly after the bicentennial and my mom took us all. we were dressed up, and came here. i will never forget that first time in washington. the museum, which my father had seen in the 1950's when he was here before this museum was built, it opened in 1964, told a pretty traditional story of american history, although it was the 1970's.
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of the times, they were certainly influenced by the remarkable energies of the civil rights movement, so i don't remember a lot about how women's stories were told. i do remember being in awe of both this museum, air and space, which was very new at the time, and that feeling that i feel every day i get off the metro and walk across the national mall, one of awe and respect and participation in this incredible experiment that we call the united states. >> joining us from inside the democracy exhibit at the american history museum. linda out of mount laurel, new jersey. >> good morning.
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i am so fortunate to live on the land where alice paul lived and grew up. >> be still my beating heart. that is wonderful. >> that was at the national constitution center in philadelphia on january 16. i just wanted to know if anybody has worked with you at this smithsonian? >> i am so grateful for your call, and if you haven't brought up alice paul, i would have. one of the things that we have, and maybe you can show it to our viewers, is a remarkable pin that alice paul and others who were imprisoned for their advocacy literally trying just to get the vote, sent to prison -- you know alice's story is so
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powerful -- but brought attention to the incredible length to which women would go. >> you are seeing that on your screen now. >> isn't that amazing? we have an amazing collection from alice paul's family, including her suffrage bracelet. she lived a long life so every time a state would ratify the 19th amendment, she would add it to her charm bracelet. hallowed ground for the suffrage movement. >> i want to talk about the suffragettes serving in prison, showing a new story from san francisco, touring country in campaign for universal suffrage, suffragettes who served terms in prison and they are getting off the prison train. explain the story behind that. >> it was an amazing moment,
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and the tactics used by suffragists -- and in the u.s. they called them suffragists and in the u.k. they called them suffragettes -- but the tactics were remarkable and powerful, and the lessons learned from the suffrage movement, you can trace throughout the 20th and 21st century. the movement like many movements broke into two different factions. some work in servant -- conservative and somewhere activist. some like alice paul felt if not then then when would women finally achieve the right to vote? they saw this as a long trajectory lasting throughout the 19th century, and even into the 18th century. they took to the streets. they took to the white house, where they were first of all
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kind of seen as an oddity. imagine the silent sentinels standing there day after day throughout 1913. president woodrow wilson decided enough was enough, they were getting way too much attention and distracting from the work of the presidency. as they were imprisoned, in a way they were against wilson and those who wanted to defeat the amendment and their spirit of advocacy, so they became even more famous. these were very educated, brilliant women, so as more and more were arrested, adding to their ranks, and finally when they were released they realized they had survived prison, which was heroic, and they had a special story to tell. so they went around the nation making sure everyone knew they had just and been released from
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prison -- just been released from prison and giving it a sense of urgency, a huge sense of sacrifice that they were willing to give literally, to let themselves -- after a while they knew they would be arrested so you can imagine what that took. >> taking your calls, asking your stories and your questions. eastern and central united states, (202) 748-8000. mountain and pacific regions, (202) 748-8001. this is anne out of cape canaveral, florida. you are on. are you with us? >> good morning. >> go ahead. >> two things. perhaps your engineers could put up a picture of someone in a hobble skirt.
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my mother paraded for the e.r.a. -- i am 97 -- and she was wearing one of those hobble skirts. >> fantastic, that is great. >> question, the e.r.a., please get it through. >> thank you, ma'am. thank you for your long life, i am sure well lived, and for your mother's advocacy as well. the equal rights movement, technically the last state -- virginia just ratified it and we are waiting for the legal rulings as to whether that ratification process will be complete, but the long fight continues for equal rights for women, both with the big convention in 1977, and as you will see in our exhibition, the
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women's march of 2017. the arc continues. >> take us back a little bit to the beginning of the equal rights amendment, why it was -- why the supporters of it felt like it was needed in the decades after the 19th amendment, and that history, when the momentum happened for it. >> sure, absolutely. thank you for that question. the reconstruction amendments that were passed in the 19th century and then the 19th amendment are not necessarily enabling amendments that lay out a series of rights that people are assured, so the promise of the e.r.a. for many women and men, many activists, was trying to reach any quality -- an equality that would be present in the
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workplace, in the home, and that veered more into reproductive rights and the bundle of rights that its framers believed would ensure an equal place for women. the long battle ensued over the e.r.a. throughout the 1970's and 1980's and even into the 1990's. you can see that stemming from the advocacy of so many people in the 1950's and 1960's through the civil rights movement, and you can picture it within its context really of the american indian campaign, civil rights advocates
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throughout the nation. that is its context. it was always kind of conflict did, like all of these were, because you are challenging the governing paradigm of how relationships between genders work, the power of women, women in the workplace, and so those are still conversations we have today. women have not given up as evident by the state of virginia literally within the last four weeks ratifying the e.r.a. >> in terms of conversations we have today, you and i were having this, this is a comment from twitter -- the history of women having to fight so hard to obtain and keep the right to vote is so often ignored. republicans love to focus only on abortion so they can keep women trapped. it is the only time you will
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hear comments about women from republican men. i wonder how -- republican men. i wonder how you and your museum deal with the contentious issue of abortion. is it talked about in the american history experience? >> that is a great question, and you are right in that -- and i love uncle sam too, by the way -- but the importance of the ways in which history helps us contextualize the modern, ongoing matter -- modern battles over a woman's right to choose is remarkable. we have a collection of the history of medicine and science which will go on the floor in the next year and a half or so, which takes people through the long conversations about the
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ways in which women's bodies and men's bodies and bodies of color have been both treated, exonerated, demonized, cured. so we see certainly as historians, we see that in a long history of medicine, the history of reproductive rights, history of family life and of course women's rights. our jobs in essence are to help people understand themselves, where they have come from, so they can be empowered to make the best decisions they can for themselves, their family, and the nation, using history as their guide. >> about a half-hour to go in
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our conversation with anthea hartig. cody is on the phone from galesburg, illinois. >> in my history class, it is so often forgotten that these women got arrested just for picketing for the right to vote. liberty is not equality. equality is not freedom, and we need to remember that. people are more proactive, we would make more progress. >> thanks for those sentiments. >> thank you for that. thank you, cody. your beliefs are very aligned with ours here, that the past can be put to utility and that it is -- you said it well -- that liberty and freedom are something we would like to believe our unalienable rights but we have learned we need to keep fighting for.
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>> i want to talk more about some of the exhibit, some of the items you feature and how you make this history come alive in this centennial year of the ratification of the 19th amendment, and how you do that from something like a votes for women umbrella. >> yes, the votes for women umbrella, what could be more fabulously feminine than a parasol? we have a number of those, as you might guess. 110 or 120 years later, they are pretty fragile, but we have conservators who have helped us conserve these beautiful parasols. the animation of thinking about popping open your umbrella, twirling it around and votes for women, it had a great element of surprise, but also
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when women were marching, if you were looking at the parades from a window up a couple of stories, it was a great way to show off your colors, if you will, and what you advocated for. >> all of these items we are talking about you can see in the democracy exhibit at the national museum of american history, and you can call in and ask your questions. steven from huntsville, texas, good morning. >> good morning. >> how are you? >> i am great. i am excited to talk to you. >> thanks so much for your call. >> my grandmother was a suffragette. >> nice. >> i grew up with hard-core feminists all the way, 1940's, 19 50's, 1960's. they were not violent unless you talk against women and then it was a gang.
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grandma was a suffragette in large part because of the depression. her father had taken the money of the whole family, grandpa and everybody, and he speculated on stocks. when that went down, he was bankrupt. so he took a gun, bought some insurance, went to a train, and committed suicide, trying to make it look like a robbery so that the insurance money would make the family solvent. he only waited a day between the day he bought the insurance and shot himself so they did not pay off. they were very victorian, had money. she ran around in those little dresses and all of a sudden they are broke. mom flips out, ends up in a
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sanitarium and two weeks later hangs herself, so within two weeks, my grandmother, a little girl goes from happy to destitute living with family. so part of her being a suffragette was in opposition to the excesses and abuse of capitalism. they went hand in hand for her, and she was always trying to protect yourself, or object to the abuse of capitalism. as you were saying, we have abuse out of medical fields or economics or politics. it is the abuse that leads to the movement. >> thank you for sharing your family story. >> that is an amazing story. thank you for sharing that. i think that is replicated throughout so many families,
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especially during the depression, the great depression, but even earlier, women were very active in the prohibition movement and passing the 18th amendment because of men's drinking and abuse that would come from that. one of the ways in which they advocated for the vote was they would put up an objection. they would carry placards that said objection, women are too pure for the dirty pool of politics. if the pool is dirty, the time has come to clean it. women have long experienced cleaning up after men. it sounds like your amazing grandmother had to clean up after quite a mess. on a serious note, what you have shared with us, for which i am grateful, goes right to
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the heart of women's advocacy, advocating for themselves, their children, when they didn't have the kind of voice that they had hoped. they didn't have the capacity to earn a living, and your grandmother sounds like one of those amazing women who probably until the day she died fought for justice, so thank you -- fought for justice, so thank you. >> tacoma, washington, mary. >> i am 79 years old so my memory isn't what it used to be, so i can't quite place the date, but i remember somewhere in the 1970's talking to a black colleague. i had just point -- joined -- joined the army and the black population was integrated
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before the population in general was, and the civil rights movement was on. i remember making a comment to my colleague, you guys got the vote before we did, and his answer was, yeah, but the bible says the men are supposed to be over women. my question is, do you still encounter that attitude from evangelical men today? >> first, thank you for calling and sharing. one of the -- one of the tensions in the 19th century you just highlighted was for those who were advocating for the abolitionist slavery, the movements were very closely aligned for a while, giving the abolishment of slavery and giving women the vote were held
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close in the hearts of many peoples advocacy, certainly people like frederick douglass and others who advocated for both. it has been presented in history that some people had to choose which was the worst horror. i bet -- i think it is a bit more nuanced than that. the human and economic wars of slavery were, i think, increasingly thought to be one of the key detriments to the promise of democracy and expanding the franchise to african-american men newly freed was something that was critical to the abolitionist movement, and was very hard won. even to this day, is not as extended as we would hope.
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in terms of dealing with abject sexism, i think every woman in america has some set of stories that reflects the ongoing internalization of gendered roles and of the way that sexism plays out subtly or overtly in our daily lives. i don't necessarily think it is just segregated to religious beliefs. i think it transcends and has a much deeper and ingrained pattern that in many respects, the work we are doing now here at the smithsonian and elsewhere tries to counter that, tries to provide knowledge and new narratives about the ways in which our equality can be played out now and in the future. thanks for calling from tacoma, because it is early. >> more reaction from those
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watching. i absolutely love the objective and answer, if the pool is dirty it is time to clean it. women have long been cleaning up after men. it is a good slogan for men's right -- women's rights and elizabeth warren still they persisted. i want to show viewers a tin parade bluebird with the words -- a tin parade bluebird with the words "votes for women" across the bluebird's chest. explain that one. >> the way in which suffrage was represented extended to colors, to sashes, and then even to animals.
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the bluebird singing in the morning represented both a new song of freedom, as well as birds kind of historic symbolism of taking flight and being free. let me see if i know anything else about it from my handy notes here. i don't so. the reason why we could even have -- that is a cast metal bird -- there was all kinds of newer technologies that allowed for campaign buttons, what we would call judge goes -- swag, to really be part of the narrative so you can wear your sentiments. animals were used. obviously, the donkey and
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elephant that subscribed to the parties. one of my favorites we have in our collection is a picture of a donkey, don't be an, vote for dewey. there is all kinds of things that were kind of brought into the popular material culture that expressed peoples 'preferences for candidates and causes. >> having this conversation about the 19th amendment in the centennial year of its ratification live from the national museum of american history, dave from massachusetts, >> good morning. i am noticing on the cart behind you -- behind your head on the wagon, if it is not, is it wise to conflate slogans from different periods?
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>> it is a great question. the wagon was used over and over again, so some of the slogans are newer. that is the way we inherited it. your point is well taken. it is not exactly the way it looked in 1913. it was used over and over again so there is magazine ads and everything. equal pay for equal work is certainly a later sentiment of the 20th century, but became, especially after world war ii, a rallying cry.
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although some earlier suffragettes after the ratification, who as women increasingly entered the workforce into world war ii where defense contractors paid women less than men for doing the same jobs, welding and other wartime related work, were starting the notion of pay equity. good call, good eyes. thanks for your call. >> what would be some of the most popular slogans at the time from 1919 and 1920 at this ratification -- as this ratification process was taking place? >> so, certainly votes for women was the big easy one. very simple, very straightforward. everyone knew exactly what it meant, but they were very up to the time in terms of almost feeling a little bit like social media does today in
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terms of as soon one state ratified, they would produce slogans and buttons and newspaper articles about what was next. california next, so they were very kind of of the moment. other ones included time for a change,. the ways in which the times were changing was part of it, but votes and women, pretty and are changeable. -- interchangeable. the beautiful one that women would hang over their windows, i just voted for the first time. you can imagine the thrill of that. >> we can show viewers some of those badges that came after the 19th amendment was
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ratified. barry in center harbor, new hampshire. >> good morning. i have two questions. i will give you both of them and then maybe i can listen on the phone. does the opposition to the e.r.a. come from people who don't want women to have equal rights, or would you categorize them as thinking that the situation is already taking care of by the rest of the constitution and we really don't need to do anything? that is number one. can you make a comparison, or do you think we can draw parallels between when the subject of abortion comes up, it is women's rights to control their body, which would go to more than just that one item of abortion.
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there is a movement in the men's group called attacktivism, where men are complaining about being circumcised as infants, having no say over the matter, so the patient was unwilling to consent and the parents were maybe misinformed and the change is irrevocable. can you see a parallel with those two? >> thanks for calling. i am going to take the first one first. i don't know much about the second one, but i will. the question over the need for an equal rights amendment is an excellent question, so thank you. i think it goes both ways and you actually answered it. some people feel the work of
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the quality of women is undone -- or not done yet, and needs further articulation, and i think that there are those who feel like the constitution is a living document with its amendments should suffice. that tension is still being played out, and i think there are still very passionate arguments on both sides, actually. in terms of your second question, i haven't seen those two conflated historically in terms of abortion and circumcision, but each, maybe just a swing at an answer, each get into notions of the body, of religious practice and preference, of how we see our bodies and perceive our bodies
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through the lens of our family, our community, our cultures. i think it belies an easy answer, but i keep on thinking about that one. >> we have about 15 minutes to go. if you are in the eastern or central time zones, (202) 748-8000, mountain or pacific time zones, (202) 748-8001. the house passed a bill recently, pretty overwhelmingly, to create a women's history museum as part of the smithsonian. it would still need to go to the senate and be signed by the president, but if that museum is created, how would it impact your collection at the american history museum? >> that is a great question. our sisters in arms have been advocating for a museum solely dedicated to the rich and
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complicated histories of women for years, so i give them credit for their perseverance and their desires to create that. the smithsonian does not object outright to any new museums. only congress can create smithsonians. what we are doing in the meantime is working with our women and men in congress who have supported this, along with other donors, to the americans women history initiative which started last year and rolls all the way through this year and beyond. exhibits we create here, including one on girlhood, the first major exhibit on what it means to be a girl, how do you find a voice when you have no vote? who gets to be a girl? how are girls supposed to act?
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that will be here in june and through early 2023 it will go on the road. what we hope to do is tell the broadest and most inclusive story that we possibly can, and especially now in this year of women with the centennial, and under my leadership we are excited to do that. we will see, i hope we are proving also that we can tell these incredible stories of women and bring forth these truly remarkable collections. >> is there any lesson for you to take after the creation of the national museum of african-american history and culture, and how that impacted the collections of the american history museum, and how you dealt with that? >> i wasn't here during that time, but i
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track that museum like all people who love history and who love the smithsonian, and am incredibly proud to call lonnie mauer secretary and work with our incredible colleagues there. there is a lot of cooperation. we have curators here who used to work there. we have some of our objects from this collection. we don't own this. we are honored to steward this collection on the behalf of the american people, and that is our top priority. the remarkable thing that lonnie and others did when creating the national museum of african-american history and culture, they went out and find everything in the attic and basement and closet that people had been holding dear, and asked people all around the nation, and even throughout the
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world if they would consider donating those precious items from their family stories to the new museum. that collecting effort was a really significant part of the creation of that museum. it feels that way today, that collection is coming out of places of pain and joy and memory. then you will have a number of objects from all the smithsonians that we were honored, as we like to say, to bring across the street to the new museum. in terms of lessons learned, i think for all of us, the power of what lonnie and his team were able to do with the support of congress, with the support now of 3, 4 presidents, is a testament to the lasting
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power and importance of seeing one self reflected in museums. when you go into the national museum of american history, the national air and space museum, national museum of natural history, and the natural portrait gallery, the smithsonian national art museum and others, it is a critical moment when you see people who look like you there, when you see their art, their histories presented. i think that is something we share across the smithsonian. we will soon -- we are incubating now and it will be opened beginning next year -- no, in 2021. the smithsonian latino center's molina family gallery at the national american history museum. we also advocated that the
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national american -- national african-american museum of history and culture. >> for "washington journal" and american history tv viewers who cannot make it to washington, d.c., we will be at the national museum of african-american history and culture at 9:00 a.m. on friday. arlene in farwell, michigan, good morning. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> i am 74 and i am a woman who wears a lot of pins, not necessarily political ones. my question is -- have these pins been replicated -- i am questioning about the bluebirds, the umbrella, and the prison
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pin -- i would love to purchase those to represent women and our rights. >> that is a great question. i believe some of them are available at the smithsonian store, so i would check and see if in the store you can find them. we will check on that answer, but i am pretty sure there is a number -- there is an incredible book we published with hundreds of objects about suffrage, and i believe there also is merchandise, so check us out online and see what you can find. >> carolyn is next in washington, d.c. >> thanks so much for taking my call. i wanted to just acknowledge for the callers who are interested in the equal rights amendment that our group united for equality is responsible for the current legislation in
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congress that seeks to eliminate the ratification of the e.r.a. >> thank you. >> we began this into thousand nine and the bill was introduced in the house in 2011 and the senate in 2012, and became the catalyst for the last three states to finish. my question to you is -- in regards to the suffrage movement, what concerns me a lot is suffragettes are framed as racist and white supremacist. i have seen a couple of op-ed's from "the new york times" that were disturbing, and i would love for you to place the suffrage movement into the context of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, so if we place the original betrayal and where it occurred and the fact that women had to fight 50 years,
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and that they were originally abolitionists, it gives people a broader picture of what happened. there is a story on both sides. i just want to say that i think the risk you run and not allowing white women to know this amazing movement that took place among educated, well-to-do women, is we don't know what our place is to currently address and propel the equal rights movement forward for women. we have a place and i do not want white women to feel ashamed and disgraced by this moment in our history. it is a moment, but we have a responsibility to continue the suffragist momentum and their dedication that we would have better lives today forward for the young women coming after us. >> thanks for the call. >> thank you.
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thank you for the work, and helping bring me up to speed. i had forgotten about the legislation that was passed finally in 2011, and the reason advocacy of your group and others around e.r.a., so thank you for that, and i will go look that up. on the declaration of sentiments, it appears it was at the national archives but we are not sure where it is now, but we will keep on working on that question and i will check in with my friends. it appears to be lost, which would be incredibly sad. -- so to your point about the tensions between abolitionists and advocates for women's
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suffrage in the 19th century, the 19th century for many feels like a foreign land. we kind of know it, maybe we think we have been there before, but taking us back as this exhibition does, democracy in america, it shows the contestations over the extension of democracy came squarely into the efforts that were started by many in the early 19th century and before that, throughout the world in which slavery had ruled and had ruled in a different way in the united states. you can certainly understand the tensions that arose within those advocacy movements. your characterization of seeing it as a betrayal of women to put forth a strong abolitionist platform, and the reconstruction amendments to
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the constitution, 13, 14, and 15, is an interesting one. i think historians would complicate that a bit. many women did feel it was a betrayal and many women didn't. many abolitionists, white and black thought that was the more important because of the moment. i think what you are getting to are some of the scars or scar tissue of the ways in which advocacy evolved, and the choices that were made. the women who felt excluded from the standard work of suffrage were many. poor, white women, often felt
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excluded, and women of color were outright excluded. your point, we can hold two things in our mind at the same time. we can hold a deep admiration for the sacrifices and diligence and remarkable work of women to get the 19th amendment passed, and we can simultaneously hold the stories that we know from nettie helen burroughs of the work that they had to do which was doubly hard. i think you are right, they shouldn't erase each other, if that makes sense. that as complex humans, we should be able to hold them both in our hearts and minds and find inspiration from both, also understanding their context and place in time. i hope that helps. >> jerry in somerset, kentucky, good morning. >> good morning.
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i asked my granddaughter if she knew how women got to vote. she said they didn't have the right to. >> what did she say? >> two wars, equal rights, women's rights, voters rights, the only way you can get anything done is when people have their seat on the street. they marched on the capital and in 1913, they marched in washington. >> you are a great historian, grandpa. >> you march off to war, you parade after you win. keep up the good work and help give our grandkids the information that they really and children the information that they really need. thank you very much. >> thank you for that phone call. lonnie waiting in elkton, maryland. >> hi, lonnie.
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>> you are absolutely wonderful. it comes through the tv screen. real quickly, i did a video about 20 years ago in a tribute to my grandma. she had a very hard life, raised three children by herself, three daughters, was always happy and a wonderful person. she is on youtube and it is just three words to locate it. miss lillian remembered. ms. lillian remembered. >> miss lillian remembered. ok, great. i will look it up. lonnie, that is very sweet. she sounds like an amazing woman and i am sure you are too. >> before we leave you today, there are a lot of museums in d.c. when visitors come to look around the national mall and
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the city -- what is your pitch to why they should make the museum of american history one of their stops? >> oh. if you are interested in what it means to be an american, if you are interested in, discovering some of the ways in which this incredible, complicated, beautiful nation has evolved. if you want to see some of the very objects and almost bear witness to the past, you are welcome here. your family is welcome here. ages 0 - 100, we tell your stories and we welcome -- 0 to 100, we tell your stories and we welcome you here. like all that sony is -- must sony and -- all smithsonians, it is free of charge. >> director of the national
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museum of american history, thank you so much and thank you for having us in today. >> you are so welcome, john. thank you. you can track us on amhistory on twitter. we thank you for everything you do to keep democracy alive. >> if you want to see more of this program or watch it again, you can see it tonight on c-span3, american history tv. we will continue museum week tomorrow from the smithsonian museum, but the american indian. we will be joined by director covering -- kevin grover to discuss artifacts import to native americans today. that starts at 9:00 a.m. on the washington journal. that will do it for us this morning on washington journal.
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