“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal…”
With these words a dream was given life in historic Seneca Falls, New York – birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement. Here, in 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (a Seneca Falls resident), Lucretia Mott and 300 other women and men held the first Women’s Rights Convention. The Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the Declaration of Independence, was presented and passed by the convention. These resolutions included, among other demands, that women have the right to vote. The struggle for women’s rights had begun.
Seventy-two years later, in 1920, the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified, which gave women many rights, including the right to vote. It had been a long, hard fight by women and men who believed in the equality and rights of women.
In 1969, the women and men of Seneca Falls created the National Women’s Hall of Fame, believing that the contributions of American women deserved a permanent home in the small village where the fight for women’s rights began. The Hall is currently housed in the Helen Mosher Barben Building, in the heart of the downtown Historic District.
The National Women’s Hall of Fame is the nation’s oldest membership organization dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of great American women. This esteemed group grows with each Induction Ceremony and as women continue to influence and shape the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy and science.