Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Museum: unforgettable woman speakers

(Editor's note: As part of Women's History Month, we asked The Women's Museum in Dallas to share what's in its collections concerning famous women speakers in history. Marketing Assistant Alyssa Gardina contributed this post and the photo of the exhibit.) In honor of Women’s History Month, I’ve put together a selection of great women public speakers from history. All of them are honored in the “Unforgettable Women” exhibit at The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future in Dallas, Texas.

At the top of our list is Barbara Jordan, a Texas politician who served in the House of Representatives in the 1970s. Barbara began her remarkable career as an orator encouraging voters at home in Harris County, Texas. After her voter registration drive, Harris County saw a record 80% voter turnout. Barbara is most remembered for her 1976 Democratic National Convention keynote address, “Who Then Will Speak for the Common Good?” She was the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote speech, which is ranked 5th in the “Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th Century”.

Jane Addams, best known for founding the Hull House in Chicago, was also a noted public speaker. In this image, she is seen speaking to a crowd after arriving home from an international peace conference in the Netherlands. She was also the first woman to speak at a political convention, taking the floor to nominate Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.

A public-speaking dynamic duo, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were responsible for making some of the most memorable speeches of the suffrage movement. Susan wrote many of the speeches, which then would be delivered by the more outgoing Elizabeth. They wrote and spoke on topics including marriage, divorce, the Bible and women’s rights.

These are only a sampling of the incredible women public speakers who have had an enormous impact throughout history. Through the multimedia exhibits at The Women’s Museum, we honor these women and their contributions to our country.

(You can find out more about The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future on its blog, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Flickr.)