BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - International Women's Day is heralded as a chance to celebrate past, present and future women. Falling each year on March 8th, this holiday, which dates back more than 100 years, is a truly global celebration with events in more than 175 countries. For its part, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, is paying tribute with a list of Top 10 Monuments to Women Leaders. These statues and memorials from around the world are testament to the individual leaders as well as the collective impact of women through time.
Below are five monuments from the Americas that honor important women and the role they played in shaping the future of their countries:
- Julia Tuttle Statue, Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida - The "Founding Mother" of Miami, Julia Tuttle basically willed the city into existence. When she first set foot in the swamp lands of South Florida in 1875, Tuttle had a vision for a city built along the Miami River. Six years later she settled on 600 plus acres along the river and then set about gathering the 300 signatures needed to incorporate the city. Her most legendary accomplishment, though, was enticing railroad baron Henry Flagler to extend the railroad the length of Florida to put her city on the map. He remained uninterested in such a move until an extreme frost ruined the orange crops of north and central Florida one winter. According to local lore, Tuttle sent Flagler an orange blossom from the still-thriving crop of Miami. That brought Flagler and the railroad south, cementing Miami's future and Tuttle's legacy. She was honored on the 114th birthday of the city with the unveiling of a 10-foot-tall bronze statue overlooking the seaport. The statue holds a basket full of oranges and, in an outstretched hand, orange blossoms.
- The "Swing Low" Harriet Tubman Statue, New York, New York - In the age of slavery, freedom for many came via the "Underground Railroad." And for 10 years, Harriet Tubman was a "conductor," making 19 trips to lead more than 300 slaves north to freedom traveling under the cover of night and guided by the North Star. An escaped slave herself, Tubman risked her safety and liberty with each harrowing trip and had a $40,000 bounty on her head by 1856 but continued her forays until 1860. Often called the Moses of her people, she served as a cook and even a spy for the Union during the Civil War, was active in abolitionist circles and eventually settled in upstate New York where she helped champion women's right to vote. Her likeness can be seen charging steadfastly forward in a 10-foot tall bronze statue, titled "Swing Low" in New York's Harlem neighborhood. The statue, which was completed in 2008, is in the center of Harriet Tubman Memorial Plaza, adjacent to Frederick Douglas Boulevard.
- The Portrait Monument, United States Capitol, Washington, D.C. - First accepted by Congress in 1921, one year after women were guaranteed the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this eight-ton marble sculpture is literally the face of the suffrage movement. It comprises the busts of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott, three of the pioneering champions of women's voting rights. Each played a distinct role, from organizing the Seneca Falls, N.Y. convention that launched the women's rights movement to drafting the women's bill of rights and proposing the Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote. While the sculpture was ushered into the Capitol quickly on the heels of the new law of the land, its initial home was the Crypt, the room directly below the Rotunda. However, in 1997, the legislature moved to relocate the monument to the Rotunda, the epicenter of the Capitol and Congress.
- The Women are Persons! Monument, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada - The route to political empowerment in Canada took its own interesting route. In 1927, Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards, who history has dubbed the Famous or Valiant Five, petitioned the Supreme Court to clarify whether the word "persons" in the founding documents of Canada and its government included females. The Supreme Court ruled that it did not include women if the question meant could they be appointed to the Senate. This ruling, however, was overturned by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Ottawa monument, and the version in Calgary, capital of their home province of Alberta, captures an imagined and larger than life celebration by the Famous Five, complete with a newspaper reading the headline of the day: We are Persons! Dedicated in 2000 atop Parliament Hill, the bronze sculpture includes an empty chair so passersby can join in the victory.
- Estatua de Policarpa Salavarrieta, Bogotá, Colombia - During the Colombian War of Independence, Policarpa Salavarrieta Ríos used her skills as a seamstress to gain entry to the homes of Royalists, where she collected valuable information for the revolutionaries. She also delivered food to prisons to share intelligence with captured soldiers. She was caught when information she had gathered fell into enemy hands. Rather than "confess" her way out of trouble by asking forgiveness for her actions from a priest, she went defiantly to her death. A statue in Plaza de Bolívar depicts her awaiting death by firing squad, arms tied behind her back and eyes wide open. Plaques around the base of the statue include quotes from some of her final rallying cries telling the crowd to fight on. She is viewed as a heroine of the war and a symbol of independence in Colombia, which is why this statue was unveiled in 1910 as part of the celebration of the first century of the country's independence. The day of her death, November 14, is celebrated as the Day of Colombian Women.
Rounding out this impressive list of memorials in honor of women leaders across the globe are: Victoria Memorial, London, England; Edith Dircksey Cowan Memorial, King's Park, Perth, Australia; Fremiet's Joan of Arc, Place des Pyramides, Paris, France; Monument to Catherine the Great, St. Petersburg, Russia; and Kate Sheppard Memorial, Christchurch, New Zealand. To read Cheapflights.com's complete list of Top 10 Monuments to Women Leaders, visit http://news.cheapflights.com/top-10-monuments-to-women-leaders.
About momondo Group
momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 13 million visitors a month -- plus 6 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.
Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.
The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across 16 core international markets but users all over the world.
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/cheapflights
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cheapflights