Women History Month was created to recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of women throughout American History. It takes place every year from March 1st to March 31st. It is often celebrated with showcases, exhibits, panels, and other events. While Women’s History Month is a big deal, many people don’t know it wasn’t celebrated until recently.
How Women’s History Month Started
Women’s History Month began as Women’s History Week. It also started with the first celebration taking place in Santa Rosa, California. The celebration was organized by The Education Task Force of Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women for the Week of March 8, 1978. They chose the week of March 8 because March 8 is International Women’s Day. The celebration quickly gained traction and spread throughout the country in the following years. Two years later in 1980, the women’s groups led by the National Women’s History Project, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, lobbied for national recognition.
They were successful and in February of 1980, President Jimmy Carter officially made the week of March 8 Women’s History Week. In 1987 Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which made the month of March Women’s History Month. In addition to this, every year Women’s History Month has a different theme. The theme for 2023 is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” This Women’s History Month people are encouraged to study women who have been active in different kinds of media and storytelling.
How Women’s History Month Has Progressed
Women’s History Month is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the women in our society and our lives. This isn’t only restricted to more well-known figures such as Sacagawea or Amelia Earhart. It also is to recognize some lesser-known figures as well. Figures such as Augusta Savage, who created the plaster sculpture “Lift Every Voice and Sing” for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. She is also the first black artist to be elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptor.
It also includes Barbara Jordan, who was the first Black woman elected to the Texas State Senate. She is also known for having passed the state’s first minimum wage law. Another is Frances Thompson, who became the first Transgender person to testify before Congress after she and her friend were raped by a group of white men, including two police offers, during the Memphis Massacre of 1866.
American History is filled with brave women who overcame great challenges and shaped our nation. It is important to celebrate them and everything that they’ve done.