Activists' Homes That Are Now Centers of Advocacy

It's important to remember the lives and legacies of historic activists, whose work contributed to the freedoms and liberties that many people enjoy today. But, these historic homes and buildings do more than share the history of their tenants. Through innovative, educational programming, each site in this guide upholds their mission to live out the legacy of the activists who once passed through their halls. Visit them to learn how they're re-interpreting the past and re-imagining the future.

  1. The Carter G. Woodson House looks brand new. Credit: Morgan Howarth

    Photo By: Morgan Howarth

    Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site

    Historian, scholar, and writer Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month, from his rowhouse in Washington, D.C. The site, which historically functioned as an archive, a community center, and a headquarters is going to uphold its legacy after its rehabilitation is completed by the National Park Service.

  2. President Lincoln's Cottage

    Photo By: Erica Abbey/President Lincoln's Cottage

    President Lincoln's Cottage

    In addition to tours and exhibits, President Lincoln’s Cottage provides the community with a diverse spectrum of public programs and special events that allow the public to experience the historic grounds in new and different ways. Their programs and events build community, share groundbreaking scholarship, advance big ideas, and foster new understanding and dialogue about American history's relation to freedom today.

  3. Pauli Murray

    Photo By: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

    Pauli Murray House

    Pauli Murray's humble home was the place where this African-American member of the LGBTQ community, civil rights and women's rights activist, lawyer, Episcopal priest, and Episcopal saint spent her formative years. Today, the home is intended to be a center for history, social justice, and recognizing this activist's legacy.

  4. Paulsdale, Alice Paul's home.

    Photo By: Robert M. Hunt/Wikimedia Commons


    Feminist and suffragist Alice Paul was the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on the behalf of women in the 20th century. Today, Paulsdale offers special girls-only programming, crafted to teach young women leadership skills and introduce them to both historic and contemporary female role models.

  5. Image of facade and block of Orchard Street

    Lower East Side Tenement Museum

    For more than two decades, the Tenement Museum has fulfilled its mission to make tangible the profound role immigration plays in shaping American identity. Visitors view restored apartments and retail spaces in the buildings, explore the surrounding neighborhood's history and culture, and experience how immigrants weathered hard times and built new lives.

  6. Harriet Beecher Stowe House

    Photo By: elycefeliz/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Harriet Beecher Stowe House

    Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," often spent time at the Cincinnati home of her father, Reverend Lyman Beecher. In addition to providing tours, the historic home also offers community members lecture series and book clubs with a focus on African-American stories and history.

  7. Frances Perkins Homestead

    In the small town of Damariscotta, Maine, members of the Frances Perkins Center are working to preserve not only the legacy of Frances Perkins, who became the first female member of a Presidential cabinet in 1933, but also her ancestral homestead and lifelong summer residence several miles away.

  8. Cesar E. Chavez National Monument

    Photo By: Ray Bouknight/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Cesar E. Chavez National Monument

    Cesar E. Chavez led farm workers and supporters in the establishment of the country's first permanent agricultural union and is widely recognized as the most important Latino leader in the U.S. during the 20th century. His final resting place was established as a national monument in 2012, where visitors can reflect on his life and legacy.

We believe all Americans deserve to see their history in the places that surround us. As a nation, we have work to do to fill in the gaps of our cultural heritage.

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