(designer.vector/Shutterstock.com)

The History of Women’s History Month

We celebrate Women’s History Month each March to honor the legacy, contributions and resilience of women and girls around the world, but a recognized time dedicated to celebrating women wasn’t formally added to the calendar until 1980. What originally became a national, monthlong celebration began as a locally celebrated women’s history week.

In 1978, a California group called the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned the first ever “Women’s History Week.” The event was scheduled during the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day, which had been observed throughout the world since the early 1900s. International Women’s Day has roots in the Socialist movement in America; in 1909, the Socialist Party held an anniversary celebration of the garment worker’s strikes in New York that occurred in 1908. As socialism spread throughout Europe in the following years, so did women’s day observances. By 1975, the U.N. officially began recognizing International Women’s Day.

In 1979, other communities around the country began recognizing their own women’s history weeks with the annual “Real Women” essay contest, educational programs and the Santa Rosa, California parade.

In 1980, the National Women’s History Project, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, lobbied for recognition throughout the United States. President Jimmy Carter subsequently issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation,” the proclamation said. “Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strengths and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

After Carter, Presidents continued to proclaim the week of March 8 as Women’s History Week. But in 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which designated March as Women’s History Month. In the following years, Congress passed additional resolutions that authorized and requested the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each President has issued an annual proclamation recognizing the month.

Since it was first recognized, the National Women’s History Alliance has also designated an official theme for each year’s celebration. For 2021, the theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced” because many 2020 celebrations for the centennial of women’s suffrage were canceled due to the pandemic.

Latest News

Tishaura Jones

Tishaura Jones Becomes Mayor of St. Louis, Joins Growing Number of Black Female Mayors Leading a Major American City

More and more Black women are becoming mayors of large American cities. Tishaura Jones has become the latest in a string of recent women candidates advancing to the top of city leadership. With her win on April 6, Jones becomes the first-ever Black woman mayor of St. Louis. Formerly the…

LinkedIn

Data From 500 Million LinkedIn Accounts Hacked and Put Up for Sale on the Dark Web

In a blow to businesspeople of all levels and industries, the career and business networking site LinkedIn confirmed that data “scraped” from approximately 500 million profiles has been archived by hackers and is being sold on the dark web. The site has approximately 675 million members, meaning that data from…

Abraham Lincoln High School

San Francisco School Board Forced to Abandon Controversial Plan to Rename Schools Honoring Historic Figures

The San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education drew nationwide attention earlier this year over its announcement to change the name of 44 schools “named after figures with disputed historical relevance.” And now, following widespread public condemnation and a vote of members, the board has decided it will no…

Park Cannon

Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Park Cannon, Georgia Representative Arrested For Protesting State’s New Racist Voter Restriction Laws

Reaction to Georgia’s restrictive and anti-Black voter disenfranchisement policies continues to stir up controversy. Major League Baseball pulled their wildly popular 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta and moved it to Denver to show their disappointment with the decision. Georgia-based companies like Delta and Coca-Cola have also announced their disapproval of…

Dow Receives Five 2021 Manufacturing Leadership Awards

Originally published at corporate.dow.com. Dow ranked No. 22 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Dow has been recognized with five Manufacturing Leadership Awards by the Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers. The awards are given to individuals and projects…

Dow Wins With Product Performance and Sustainability at the Leading 2021 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards

Originally published at corporate.dow.com. Dow ranked No. 22 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Dow clinched two notable product wins for superior performance and wide application at the 2021 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards in the Plastics Raw Materials & Additives category: Dow’s Post-Consumer Recycled…