Mary Maschal (1924-1998). Special Induction. Mary B. Maschal was co-founder and first president of the Women's History Reclamation Project (WHRP) in 1983. She was devoted to improving women's status and self-esteem by exposing the struggles and accomplishments of women. As president of the WHRP, she collected books, historical papers, and artifacts; she gave talks in schools and community groups; she lobbied politicians and activists; she applied for grants; she appealed to donors; she taped oral histories to preserve women's stories; she traveled to women's conferences; she persuaded women from all walks of life to come volunteer with her "at the Project." Maschal was raised believing she could not become an engineer or a preacher like her father "because girls don't do that." She followed tradition, married, and raised five children. Then she discovered in the 1950s that some women did occupy traditional male occupations.
As a participant in the Second Wave of Feminism, she was an early member of the National ORganization for Women; Women's Conference in Houseton (1977) and the U.N. Mid-Decade Conference for Women in COpenhagen (1980). She developed a "handywoman" business. An advocate of women's rights in organized religion, she helped create a Women and Religion Resolution in 1977 in the Unitarian Universalist Association. Mary envisioned a center where all women felt welcome and inspired--accessible to those who could not afford college or would never otherwise learn about women. With the help of talented co-founders, the WHRP moved from her home to a museum in 1996 and continues to grow. In 2003 the WHRP's name was changed to the Women's History Museum and Educational Center.