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Could Your Grandmother Vote?

Women’s Rights National Historic Park

Seneca Falls, NY:

2015-09-20 07.52.15Of all the National Park Service monuments, recreation areas, and places between Michigan and Maine, the Women’s Rights National Historic Park was high on the list of places we wanted to take our 4th-grade daughter.

What really struck us the most about this small-town site and museum in Seneca Falls, New York, is how little time has really passed since American women won the right to vote. If your grandmother was born before 1920 (as Carol and my grandmothers were), they were born into a country that did NOT let women vote — for the most part.

Between 1848 when the Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls and 1920 when the 19th Amendment became the law of the land, dozens of other countries abolished the slave trade … many other countries passed women’s suffrage … and the United States fought in two wars (the Civil War and World War I) that resulted in the deaths of millions (soldiers and civilians).

It’s hard to believe that a nation with powerful ideals such as “all men are created equal” took so long to begin to offer half of its citizenry such a basic right as the right to vote.

Be sure to give yourself and your kids at least 2 1/2 hours to explore the museum, the neighboring Wesleyan Chapel, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s House — all of which are located in or within a mile of downtown Seneca Falls.

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