Every year since 1987, the U.S. Congress has designated March as Women’s History Month. That makes it a perfect time to visit a site that is connected to women’s history in North America. One destination that fits the bill is upstate New York – specifically, Seneca Falls and Rochester, which were the epicenter of the 19th century battle for women’s rights.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park
In July of 1848, Seneca Falls played host to the First Women’s Rights Convention. A total of 300 people attended the event, and 100 of them (68 women and 32 men) signed a Declaration of Sentiments for increasing women’s rights. The organizing force behind the convention was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who lived in Seneca Falls and was one of the more prominent women’s rights advocates of the 19th century, along with Susan B. Anthony.
Today, four buildings associated with that 1848 convention make up the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. The most prominent is Wesleyan Chapel, where the meeting was held. Other attractions include the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, where she and her family lived for 15 years; the M’Clintock House, where the Declaration of Sentiments was drafted; and the Hunt House, where five women met in the summer of 1848 to plan the convention.
There is also a visitor center near Wesleyan Chapel. There, you can see an introductory film and tour a women’s rights exhibit. Nearby, Declaration Park has a wall inscribed with the text of the Declaration of Sentiments and the names of its signers.
National Women’s Hall of Fame
While you’re in Seneca Falls, you should also make time to visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1969. It has exhibits that honor more than 200 inductees, from Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt and Sandra Day O’Connor to Amelia Earheart, Lucille Ball and Julia Child.
Susan B. Anthony House
Finally, if you drive just about an hour west to Rochester you can make it a women’s rights trifecta with a visit to the Susan B. Anthony House. In addition to being her residence, this home served as sort of a political headquarters for the women’s rights movement of the 1800s. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and is open for public tours.
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Photo credit: Dmadeo via Wikimedia Commons.