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Public Service

Women have always worked to strengthen their communities and this nation. Whether through government and military service or volunteer clubs and civic organizations; women have found a way to serve.

Collection Objects

Sandra Day O'Connor wears her work robes for the Supreme Court. She stares off to the left, out of frame.

The Nation's First Woman Supreme Court Justice

Off-white poster with black and red type. It reads "Bring U.S. Together. Vote Chisholm 1972. Unbought and Unbossed."  There is a black-and-white image of Shirley Chisholm sitting at a table , speaking and gesturing with her hands, wearing all white.

A Catalyst for Change

Blue dress made of shiny synthetic fabric with silver, red, and brown accents. Metal cones adorn the skirt. Above the left breast sits a patch that reads "Never Forgotten SPC Lori Piestewa."

What U.S Army Veteran Mitchelene BigMan Wore to a Presidential Inaugural Parade

Juliette Gordon Low wears a pink, gauzy dress and she sits for a formal painted portrait.

Juliette Gordon Low Envisioned a Broad-Based Girl Scout Movement

 Poster depicting a Red Cross nurse.

World War I Navy Nurses Served Without Commissioned Rank

Sepia photo of Mary Church Terrell seated in profile from the waist up. She is wearing a light colored beaded and fringed evening dress.

A Lifetime Lifting Black Lives

Conversation Kit

Let's Talk! Women’s Land Army of World War II Conversation Kit
Women’s Land Army of World War II Teaching and Discussion Guide

Grades 6-12. Time: Variable (1-3 class periods). Aligned to C3 standards.

In this lesson students will learn about the Woman's Land Army of America during World War II and how this group of dedicated women fueled the United States's massive war effort. Students will examine the question: How can communities shape the direction of history?


Women of the United States Senate reflect on the impact of the Nineteenth Amendment and the role of women in politics.

The first Hispanic Justice on the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was interviewed by Jan Smith, for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Before the right to vote came to all women, social groups like garden clubs were one of the few ways women could band together and influence the political world. Learn about how garden clubs could be more than just a social club for plant lovers one hundred years ago.

Johnnetta B. Cole highlights the contributions to society and the influential fashion styles of two prominent community and civil rights leaders, Dorothy Height and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.

This video highlights the influence of Regina Lee's upbringing as an Asian American Immigrant and how growing up in Chinatown, NY, during the 50s, 60s, and 70s shaped her philanthropy.

When the U.S. Airforce faced a pilot shortage in WWII, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were the first women to fly American military aircraft. 

Smithsonian American Women book cover.

Smithsonian American Women

Remarkable objects and stories of strength, ingenuity, and vision from the National Collection.

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