Statement | Washington, DC | January 11, 2017

Family Home of Civil Rights Attorney and Women’s Activist Named a National Historic Landmark

Prestigious distinction boosts effort to convert the modest home of Pauli Murray into social justice and history center

The Department of the Interior announced today that the family home of Pauli Murray in Durham, N.C. has been approved by the Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark (NHL). This concludes a three-part review process that began in October, 2016 with a hearing by the Advisory Board of the National Park System. The following are statements by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Pauli Murray Project which partnered with the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites in creating and supporting the nomination.

Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“Pauli Murray was an accomplished human rights activist, historian, attorney, poet, and teacher who believed in justice, reconciliation, and freedom. And yet her deep and far-reaching legacy has been mostly obscured and unheralded. Honoring her childhood home as a National Historic Landmark is a vital step toward ensuring her many contributions are never forgotten. This recognition will energize our efforts to reopen the home as a center for history and social justice and bring greater attention to Pauli Murray’s legal scholarship and activism against discrimination.”

Barbara Lau, director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center:

"Thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Pauli Murray Family Home was launched onto the national stage when it was named a National Treasure in 2015. And now, in 2017 it has been designated a National Historic Landmark. We are so grateful to be collaborating with the National Trust to uplift Pauli Murray’s legacy of human rights activism.”

About the National Historic Landmarks Program

National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. The purpose of NHL designation is to ensure that stories of nationally important historic events, places, or persons are recognized and preserved for the benefit of all citizens. Today, just over 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Public input, collected in the form of support letters, is an important component of a successful nomination. More information about the program is available here:

The Department of Interior’s press release on the Pauli Murray Family Home’s NHL designation can be read online.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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