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Great Basin Museum of American History. Hours Mon.-Fri 9a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 10a.m.-3p.m. . 1920-1960. 1960-2000. Guests. Erqey ery er er ddhd hgkid jjtrjtrhrh Ertyeryerqy Ghjjj g jgdjh g fgfdfdr hrthrh Dddjdfj dfjfdjhr rhrjfjjtytygereheerqaq. 1900-1920. Curator’s Office.

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Great Basin Museum of American History



9a.m.-5 p.m.








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Curator’s Office



Click here for info about our curator…

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mr aytes

Mr. Aytes is currently a teacher at Hug High School in Reno, Nevada. He is a native of Reno and graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno. United States history is his favorite subject to teach.


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helen keller
Helen Keller

Born June 27th, 1880, Helen Keller would fall ill in 1882 and subsequently lose her vision and hearing. She would go on to research, give speeches, and help raise money for many organizations, such as the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Foundation for the Overseas Blind, which is now called Helen Keller Worldwide. From 1946 and 1957, she went around the world, speaking about the experiences and rights of people who are blind. Her efforts as a true humanitarian have left an indelible mark on the world.

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jane addams
Jane Addams

Born September 6th, 1860, Jane Addams would go on to become a pioneer social worker in America, as a feminist, and as an internationalist. Jane believed that women should make their voices heard in legislation and therefore should have the right to vote, but more comprehensively, she thought that women should generate aspirations and search out opportunities to realize them. In 1889 she, along with Ellen G. Starr, would open the Hull house to “provide a center for a higher civic and social life; to institute and maintain educational and philanthropic enterprises and to investigate and improve the conditions in the industrial districts of Chicago”.

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carrie chapman catt
Carrie Chapman Catt

Born January 9th, 1859, Carrie worked as an organizer for the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1890 to 1900, when she became its national president. She lead the campaign to win women's suffrage with a federal amendment to the constitution until 1920 when the 19th amendment was ratified. She would go on to become one of the most recognized and respected women’s suffragist and peace advocate of the 20th century.

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margaret sanger
Margaret Sanger

Born September 14th, 1879, Margaret Sanger would go on to become an advocate of women’s rights and an outspoken proponent of every woman’s right to birth control. Sanger published the first issue of The Woman Rebel, a radical feminist monthly that advocated militant feminism, including the right to practice birth control. For advocating the use of contraception, three issues of The Woman Rebel were banned, and in August 1914 Sanger was eventually indicted for violating postal obscenity laws.

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alice paul
Alice Paul

Born January 11th, 1885, Alice Paul is most remembered as a leader in the woman suffrage movement of the early 20th century. She would also fight for passage of the equal rights amendment and advocate peace during the 20th century.

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jeanette rankin
Jeanette Rankin

Born June 11th, 1880, Jeanette Rankin became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916. She was a strong advocate for peace and was the lone dissenting vote in congress against declaring war on Japan.

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Jackie Kennedy

Rosa Parks

Rosie the Riveter

Marilyn Monroe

The Changing “face” of the American woman

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eleanor roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt

As First Lady, she understood social conditions better than any of her predecessors and she transformed the role of First Lady accordingly. She was able to fulfill the more “traditional” role of greeter and hostess but she also broke precedent to hold press conferences, travel to all parts of the country, give lectures and radio broadcasts, and express her opinions candidly in a daily syndicated newspaper column, "My Day”. During her life, she became dedicated to issues such as the abolition of child labor, the establishment of a minimum wage and the passage of legislation to protect workers.

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jacqueline kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy

The Queen of Camelot. Jacqueline Bouvier was educated at Vassar College and George Washington University, and she later spent time studying in France. In September of 1953, she married John F. Kennedy and soon the couple, together, would become the faces of a new American generation of leadership. During her days as First Lady, her very “fashion forward” dress would lead her to become a fashion icon domestically and internationally. She would also show her strength during the assassination of her husband. The image of her and her children watching her husband’s funeral procession is cemented in American history and perfectly portrays the grace and strength of one of America’s most beloved First Ladies.

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rosa parks
Rosa Parks

In December of 1955, Rosa Parks would spark a revolution by refusing to give up her seat on a public bus. This act of defiance was not simply a statement to those on the bus but to America as a whole. Her arrest would serve as a rallying call for civil rights activists throughout the south including Martin Luther King Jr. Prior to her arrest she served as secretary of the NAACP and later Adviser to the NAACP Youth Council, and tried to register to vote on several occasions when it was still nearly impossible to do so.

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rosie the riveter
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter would become the face of millions of women workers during WWII. As a propaganda campaign of the U.S. government, she would serve as the example of the ideal American woman worker; loyal, efficient, patriotic, and pretty. Women would answer the call of their country and with their efforts, the United States would progress into a period of mobilization that is unmatched in human history. Rosie and all the women workers alongside her would prove the value of women in the workforce and shatter stereotypes about sexual division of labor.

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marilyn monroe
Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe’s rise to fame would serve as a reminder that women had come a long ways towards equality but still had far to go. Ms. Monroe would become an iconic personality and symbol of American history. Although she was an actress, it was her appearance and “sex appeal” that drew the attention and fascination of the public. She would become the model of what many men thought American women were or should be. The bleached blonde hair, the personality, the attitude, she was something wonderfully and irrepressibly American.

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gloria steinem
Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem would become a key representative of the “new” women’s movement of the 1960’s. She helped to found the Women's Action Alliance, the National Women's Political Caucus, and Choice USA. She was the founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women and helped create Take Our Daughters to Work Day. She recently co-founded the Women's Media Center and GreenStone Media. She has served on the board of trustees of Smith College, and was a member of the Beyond Racism Initiative, a comparative study of racial patterns in the U.S., South Africa, and Brazil. She has also co-produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO, and a feature film for Lifetime.

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oprah winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey’s rise to the forefront of society during the 1980’s and 1990’s has left a lasting mark in America. She has been a celebrated actress, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and the first African American female billionaire. Her charity work includes working with the poor, elderly, minorities, abused children, animal protection groups, and many more. She has become a symbol of the “working woman” of the 21st century. Successful and giving.,,20207076_20207079_20209139_10,00.html

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betty friedan
Betty Friedan

Friedan's l963 book, The Feminine Mystique, detailed the frustrating lives of countless American women who were expected to find fulfillment primarily through the achievements of husbands and children. The book made an enormous impact. Along with her published work, Friedan has spent time lecturing all across America, advocating equal rights. She was a founder of the National Organization for Women and has been a central figure in the struggle for equal rights.

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sandra day o connor
Sandra Day O’Connor

Appointed as the first female Supreme Court judge, Sandra Day O’Connor broke down the ultimate barrier to women in the field of law. A graduate of Stanford law, she would go on to serve as deputy county attorney, assistant attorney general, and even Senate majority leader form the state of Arizona. In 1981, she would be appointed to the supreme court and forever change the stereotype of women in the field of law.

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hillary clinton
Hillary Clinton

Before becoming first lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton had a distinguished career as an attorney, served as first lady to the state of Arkansas, and she co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Legal Services, the Children’s Defense Fund, TCBY, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Her work as first lady forever changed the role of the first lady within the President’s administration. She chaired the Task Force on National Health Care Reform and was a staunch advocate of health care reform, women’s and children’s issues, arts, culture, and heritage promotion, throughout the Clinton Presidency. After leaving the white house, she would become the first female senator from the state of New York and would run for the office of President in 2008. In 2009 she was appointed by President Obama as the Secretary of State.

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madeline albright
Madeline Albright

In 1997, she would become the highest ranking women in the U.S. government with her appointment as Secretary of State. Her political career has included positions as ambassador, representative to the United Nations, and member of the National Security Council. Her career has changed the standard for American women in politics.

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sheryl swoopes
Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Swoopes has been called the “Michael Jordan” of the WNBA. Her athletic career has coincided with a time in history where women athletes are more attaining more visibility and popularity than ever before. Her career has brought her fame and fortune but more importantly, she has become a role model to millions of young female athletes who now have someone of their own to look up to at the top of the sporting world.

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billie jean king
Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King has spoken out for women and their right to earn comparable money in tennis and other sports. Her constant lobbying and commitments have broken many barriers. She was the first woman commissioner in professional sports history and Life Magazine named Billie Jean one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th Century. In 1973 when she beat Bobby Riggs in three straight sets after he challenged her to a match where he boasted of his superior male attributes, Billie Jean’s victory was a victory for all women.

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