Special Event


Women's History Day at Reconstruction Era National Historical Park

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park




Darrah Hall at Penn Center National Historic Landmark District

Dates & Times


Saturday, March 23, 2024


10:00 AM


6 hours

Type of Event

Children’s Program
Guided Tour
Partner Program


On Saturday March 23 at Darrah Hall at the Penn Center National Historic Landmark District, Reconstruction Era National Historical Park will hold our first ever Women's History Day event. Join us for a full day's lineup of historians, speakers, and community groups to learn about the crucial role of women in the Reconstruction Era. 

Throughout the day there will be a wide variety of hands on activities for kids (and adults!), while historians, park rangers, park parnters, and community members give presentations inside Darrah Hall on a number of topics related to women's history during the Reconstruction era. 


Speaker Schedule

10 am The Life and Legacy of Susie King Taylor
Hermina Glass-Hill, President of the Susie King Taylor Institute & Ecology Center will share the inspiring story and legacy of Susie King Taylor, who served as a nurse and educator during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Hermina Glass-Hill is the premier scholar on the life and legacy of Susie King Taylor and the curator of the Susie King Taylor Museum in Hinesville, Georgia

11 am The Families' Civil War
Counter to the national narrative which championed the patriotic manhood of soldiering from the Civil War through the 1920s, Dr. Holly A. Pinheiro, Jr.'s research reveals that African American veterans and their families' military experience were much more fraught. Dr. Pinheiro is a history professor at Furman University and is the author of The Families' Civil War.

Noon Women's Suffrage in Black and White
During Reconstruction, voting rights activists were able to secure the ratification of the 15th Amendment, which stipulated that the right to vote could not be denied based on race. However, at the same time, the issue of women's suffrage was still hotly contested, and many of the people involved in the push for Black civil rights became active in the women's suffrage movement. Join Park Ranger Chanda Powell will lead this presentation exploring the Reconstruction era women's suffrage movement.

1 pm The Midwife Curriculum at Penn School
Penn School began during the Civil War, but by the late Reconstruction period and into the 20th Century, it had developed a nationally recognized program for educating midwives. Penn Center staff will share this important story that is so important to history and community of St. Helena Island. 

2 pm Harriet Tubman During Reconstruction
While many people may be familiar with Harriet Tubman's work on the Underground Railorad and in Civil War era Beaufort, many are less familiar with her postwar life and work. Park Ranger Chanda Powell, who previously worked at Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, New York, will share how Tubman naviagated the postwar world in New York. 

3pm Her Mark: Black Women's Voices in Union Pension Records in the South Carolina Lowcountry
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of African American women applied for US pensions based on the military service of their husbands during the American Civil War. Their interviews provide rich detail on the lives of the families of Black Union Veterans in the SC Lowcountry from Reconstruction into the Jim Crow Era. Using excerpts from US Civil War Widows Pension files from across the SC Lowcountry, scholar Elizabeth Laney from the University of South Carolina will bring to life the voices of such as Sophia Sanderson, Diana Grayson, Nancy Happy, Judith Jenkins, Celia King and many more, resurrected from more than a century before.

 Other Activities and Programs

All presentations will take place inside Darrah Hall at the Penn Center National Historic Landmark District. In addition, the staff at Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, along with community organizations such as the Susie King Taylor Institute, Mather School Alumni Association, the Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era, and more will have a wide variety of activities available for kids. Bring the whole family for all, or part, of the day to learn about the experiences and contributions of women during Reconstruction. 

All programs are free and open to the public. 


Please note that the schedule is subject to change, but will updated here if changes occur. 

Reservation or Registration: No

Contact Information

Chris Barr
Contact Us