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Hill Talk: A Front Seat

Women will soon be getting a national museum of their own.

The National Women’s History Museum Act, which directs the General Services Administration to provide property on the Mall for the creation of the National Women’s History Museum, passed the House last week.

“Women have waited too long for their own museum in the nation’s capital,— said D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). “I deeply appreciate the strong commitment of the women who conceived the national museum idea and their determination to do whatever it took to get it done.—

The environmentally friendly museum will be constructed at the intersection of 12th Street Southwest and Independence Avenue.

“This gives women a front-row seat to the National Mall,— said Joan Wages, president and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum. “Every woman in this country should be excited that for the first time, women’s contributions to our nation will be honored in our nation’s capital.—

The next step in making the museum a reality is for a concurrent bill to be introduced in the Senate. Wages says Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) will offer the bill in the near future with the support of several other female Senators.

“Exhibits in the museum will show the breadth and depth of women’s roles and contributions in our society — from Nobel Prize-winning economists and physicists to homemakers and artists to educators and politicians,— Wages said.

The National Women’s History Museum incorporated in 1996, and the group lobbied Congress to move the statues of three prominent American women from the Capitol Crypt to the Rotunda. The statues of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Lucretia Mott were relocated on Mother’s Day 1997 and remain in the Rotunda today.

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