In 1997, a group of women’s organizations banded together to raise $126,000 and generate public support to move the Suffrage Statue (depicting Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony) out of its 76‑year storage in the Capitol Crypt. After successfully raising the necessary funds, the statue was moved to the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Now over 4 million visitors a year can view the contributions of these leaders of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, among some of our more well known Founding Fathers. During this effort it became evident how much women’s accomplishments and acknowledgements in American History is missing in our nation’s capital, sparking the movement for a museum of American women’s history.
On December 19, 2014 Congress signed into law legislation to establish a Commission to independently study of a potential American Museum of Women’s History. The legislation was successful thanks to the bi-partisan efforts of its co-sponsors: Senators Mikulski (D-MD) and Collins (ME-R) and Representatives Maloney (D-NY) and Blackburn (R-TN). In a landmark show of support, all 20 female members of the Senate supported this legislation.
The Commission submitted their report to the President and Congress on November 16, 2016, with recommendations for a plan of action for the establishment, operation and maintenance of an American Museum of Women’s History in Washington, DC.