Our History

We sat on the Rotunda floor, ate pizza, and drank champagne.

Ann E. W. Stone
Secretary, National Women's History Museum

From the basement to the Capitol Rotunda

On Mother’s Day weekend two decades ago, a group of women dedicated themselves to moving Adelaide Johnson’s Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony out of the U.S. Capitol’s basement, known as the Crypt, to its rightful place in the Capitol Rotunda.

The statue more commonly known as The Woman Suffrage Statue, memorializes pioneering suffragists, and first arrived at the Capitol on February 10, 1921. On February 15, it was unveiled in a ceremony as a gift from the “women of the Nation…to the People of the United States,” by the National Woman’s Party. The very next day, “the Portrait Monument traveled outdoors, down the Capitol steps, and through the doors into the Crypt” where it remained for nearly 76 years.


Our Institution

Founded in 1996, NWHM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse contributions women have made to society.

Women's contributions and accomplishments for the most part have been overlooked and consequently omitted from mainstream culture. The National Women's History Museum will help fill that void. Rather than rewriting current exhibitions at other history museums or having to decide what to omit elsewhere to "fit in" women's history, the Museum will serve to place women's history along side current historical exhibitions. 

Women's history isn't meant to rewrite history. The objective is to promote scholarship and expand our knowledge of American history.