Meryl Streep has become a fervent campaigner for a new National Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C., after donating $1 million to the project.
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The museum still has to find a permanent home and the Oscar winner and historians are urging U.S. politicians to approve a bid to erect the place on the National Mall near the capital's most important buildings.
Streep has become the public face of the campaign to site the museum in Washington because she feels it's a very important location for such a project.
She tells the Los Angeles Times, "History until the 20th century was written by one member of the human family, and it wasn't the mother. It was dad. That's who wrote history and ... what was important? Movements of armies, sovereignty of nations, all sorts of things. But women were there all along, and they have incredible stories that we don't know anything about. It would be a beacon to women all over the world, because there really is no such museum. There are cottage museums -- there's a quilt museum, there's a cowgirl museum."
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Continues Streep, "There are so many great stories. Every child knows the name of our first traitor, Benedict Arnold, but nobody knows the name of the first female soldier to take a bullet for the U.S., who enlisted under her dead brother's name. Nobody knows Deborah Sampson's name. That's a great story. Or Elizabeth Freeman, who was the first slave to sue for her own freedom and won ... Every boy and girl should know these stories ... I hope we get it done."
And she admits she owes it to the memory of her grandmother to help get the project off the ground: "My grandmother had three children in school, and she would have to go to the golf course and get my grandfather off the ninth tee to make him go to the school board election, 'cause she was not allowed to vote. She's so vivid in my life."
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