Niagara Falls to be illuminated in honor of Women’s History Month

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation is working to highlight Women’s History Month at parks across the state.

This will start with the illumination of Niagara Falls State Park on Saturday in the historic suffragist colors of gold, white and purple. The lighting will start at 6 p.m. and continue on the hour through 11 p.m.

According to the Commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Erik Kullesaid, celebrations like these help promote the stories of women who supported the parks.

“During Women’s History Month, we are proud to promote and support the under-told stories of women who helped shape our state’s diverse history,” Commissioner Kulleseid said. “I welcome visitors to experience our displays, events, virtual programming and online content, as well as through safe, socially-distanced outdoor visits to our sites related to the many roles of women in our common heritage.” 

Women’s History Month first originated as a national celebrated month in 1981 when Congress requested that President Ronald Reagan proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”

Additional New York State Parks events and programming scheduled for March 2021 include the following:

  • Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center, Jones Beach State Park: 
    • The center will feature a series of professional profiles of women involved in the conservation and renewable energy fields entitled “Women & the Green Economy.”
  • Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, Yonkers:
    • A tour of the Colonial-era mansion will explore the potential relationship between George Washington and Mary Philipse, daughter of the Lord of Philipsburg Manor and a Loyalist during the American Revolution, based on the 2019 novel “Dear George, Dear Mary” by author Mary Calvi.
    • Guided tours will be held on March 6, March 13, March 20 and March 27. All tours begin at 1 p.m. Attendance is limited to COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown:
    • A Facebook Live presentation and lecture entitled “Suffrage in the Hudson Valley” will focus on the fight for women’s rights that resulted in the passage of women’s suffrage in 1917 in New York State, and nationally in 1920 with passage of the 19th Amendment. Presented by Ashley Hopkins Benton, Senior Historian and Curator of Social History at the New York Museum, the event begins at 2 p.m. March 13. Registration is available here
  • Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton:
    • A presentation will be made on the story of Helen Ellett, who was the second female fire tower observer in New York State, working at the parks Dickinson Fire Tower between 1943 and 1965.
    • The March 14 event will be held at 10 a.m. until noon, and again from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Attendees must preregister by 4 p.m. on March 9. Attendance is limited due to COVID-19 safety protocols. 
  • Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown:
    • Interpreters will share a variety of stories on past women and girls in a program outside at the site as well as on Facebook in the event of poor weather. Registration is available here
  • Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown:
    • A free Facebook Live presentation will be made on the story of Serena Livingston, which includes her courtship with a famous writer, her unhappy marriage to a famous general, and her adventures in the Old West. Registration is available here
  • Jay Heritage Center, Rye:
    • A Zoom virtual event will be held by award-winning historian and Wall Street Journal columnist Dr. Amanda Foreman for a behind-the-scenes look at her documentary, “The Ascent of Woman” – the inspiration for her forthcoming book,  ‘The World Made by Women: A History of Women from the Apple to the Pill,’ scheduled to be published by Penguin Random House in 2022. Registration is available here.  

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