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Feminism: The Second Wave

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About Us

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is an innovative museum dedicated to uncovering, interpreting, and celebrating women’s diverse contributions to society. A renowned leader in women’s history education, the Museum brings to life the countless untold stories of women throughout history, and serves as a space for all to inspire, experience, collaborate, and amplify women’s impact—past, present, and future. We strive to fundamentally change the way women and girls see their potential and power. NWHM fills in major omissions of women in history books and K-12 education, providing scholarly content and educational programming for teachers, students, and parents. We reach more than five million visitors each year through our online content and education programming and, in March 2023, mounted our first physical exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, DC, "We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC."

Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.

Myra Pollack Sadker
Professor, Author, Researcher, and Activist

Explore More!

During this collaborative virtual workshop, educators will learn about developing women’s history curriculum for K-12 students in a variety of subject matters using strategies such as Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) and historical empathy. 

Did You Know?

In 1835, while she was running errands at a local store, Harriet Tubman witnessed another enslaved person’s attempted escape. She refused to assist the freedom seeker's enslaver in capturing the fugitive. As the enslaver became desperate in their attempt to recapture the freedom seeker, he threw a two-pound weight. Rather than hitting the intended target, he struck Tubman in the back of the head and fractured her skull. After the incident, physical pain became a consistent part of Tubman’s life. She experienced chronic pain from headaches and uncontrollable bouts of seizures, which Tubman herself referred to as “sleeping spells.” Historians now know that Tubman had narcolepsy. Vivid visions of freedom came to her while experiencing these seizures. Historian Deidre Cooper Owens spoke to the importance of Tubman’s disability, writing that “she offered up a version of freedom where a disabled Black woman sat at the center of it, where Black women were liberators, and where liberation was communal and democratic.”

In honor of Disability Pride Month, learn more about Harriet Tubman’s life and other disable women’s experiences throughout US history in this month’s featured biographies.

Use the NWHM’s compendium of online biographies to spark curiosity and dig deeper into women’s impact throughout our shared national history. Explore more here

If we want our girls to benefit from the courage and wisdom of the women before them, we have to share the stories.

Shireen Dodson

Students and Educators

Discover our educational resources. Find lesson plans, biographies, posters, timelines, videos, and more on a wide variety of women's history topics. 

Museum News

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New: NWHM's Annual Impact Report

Read our first annual Impact Report, which explores our work in 2023.
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Just Announced: NWHM's 2024 "For Educators, By Educators" Cohort

The "For Educators, By Educators" Cohort will collaborate with Museum staff to create K-12 lesson plans to help learners explore women's impacts on society.
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The National Women's History Museum Named America250 National Resource Partner for Women's History

NWHM is among a select group of expert nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that will help elevate and scale America250 programming.
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Now Open at the MLK Library in Washington, DC!

NWHM's award-winning exhibition, We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC, traces Black feminism in Washington, DC from the turn of the 20th century through the civil rights and Black Power movements to today.

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Upcoming Events

2024-10-09

Virtual Workshop for Educators, Hallucinations in the Machine: AI and Primary Source Analysis in Women’s History Education

Learn classroom activities that facilitate student inquiry and fact-checking practices for an AI-generated student work on a topic in US women’s history.
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