President Obama yesterday designated the Sewell-Belmont House and Museum, a site on Capitol Hill that has been central to the fight for women's equality for over a century, as America's newest national monument. Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, serves on the board of the museum, now known as the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, and attended the announcement ceremony.
The president used his executive powers under the Antiquities Act to preserve the small red brick house and changed the museum’s name to honor Alva Belmont and Alice Paul, two leaders in the fight for women’s rights. According to the New York Times, Belmont was a wealthy socialite who funded efforts by the National Women’s Party to gain voting rights for women, and Paul founded the 100-year-old party and led the fight for voting rights.
“From this house, members of the National Woman's Party led the movement for women’s equality, authoring more than 600 pieces of federal, state, and local legislation in support of equal rights,” said Page Harrington, executive director of the new monument. “The President's designation will preserve an extensive archival collection that documents the history of the movement to secure women’s suffrage and equal rights in the United States and across the globe.”
Tipton added, “I’m proud to be part of the board of directors that helped bring about this historic change.”
The monument now will be supported and maintained by the Department of the Interior under the National Park Service.
Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO (eighth from right) celebrated with other proud board members after President Obama named the museum a national monument,