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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 31, 1998


Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 2285, the "Women's Progress Commemoration Act." This legislation establishes a 15-member Commission, appointed by the President and the Congress to help commemorate, celebrate, and preserve women's history in America.

It is appropriate that we establish this Commission on the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first national congregation on the conditions and rights of women in the United States. It was there, at a time when women were denied many of the rights of citizenship, that 100 brave women and men proclaimed in their "Declaration of Sentiments" that "all men and women are created equal."

At Seneca Falls and throughout our history, women have braved enormous challenges and helped to build our Nation -- from women patriots hiding General Washington's soldiers from the British, to Sojourner Truth and others leading slaves out of bondage, to suffragists risking imprisonment to secure for women the most basic rights of democracy. The Women's Progress Commemoration Commission will seek out the historical sites of such great moments in our Nation's history, and recommend the best way to preserve them for generations to come. The President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History, that I created by executive order in June of this year looks forward to working with the Commission created by S. 2285.

As we approach a new century and a new millennium, it is more important than ever that we honor these monuments to our enduring ideals. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I sign this legislation.


                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                   October 31, 1998.