The History of National Women’s History Month

Skylar Fincher-Butler, Reporter

March is National Women’s History Month. It is a month to honor and appreciate the achievements made by women that have been previously overlooked. 

Women’s History Month started in California in 1978, as a week-long celebration that Sonoma School District organized. 

As the idea caught on with many communities, former President Jimmy Carter made the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week in 1980. 

The following year, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution making it a national celebration. This was due to the National Women’s History Project, now the Women’s History Alliance, because of how hard they fought and pushed for national recognition. 

During this time former President Carter said, “the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

Six years later, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which designated March as National Women’s History Month. 

From 1988 to 1994, Congress passed multiple resolutions that requested and authorized the current President to proclaim every March of each year as National Women’s History Month. 

Starting in 1995, every President has issued annual proclamations designating March as “Women’s History Month.” President Biden made his proclamation at the end of February for the upcoming month of March. 

The National Women’s History Alliance comes out with a theme each year for the month of March. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

Under the thematic idea, they choose to recognize women, past and present, for their accomplishments and the boundaries they pushed. 

A few women that are consistently recognized for what they’ve done are: Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Hilary Clinton. 

Abigail Adams played a large role in politics, being the first woman to serve as the Second Lady (the spouse of a vice president) and the second woman to serve as the First Lady. She advocated for women’s education, heavily opposed slavery, and is most known for reminding the Presidents to “remember the ladies” when they were running the office. 

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked together to lead the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Anthony was the on-the-ground organizer and strategist, while Stanton was the writer, thinker, and commentator. 

Hilary Clinton played a major role in the rise of feminism as the first female nominee in a major political party. She was also the first female senator in New York while simultaneously being the First Lady. 

Women have fought for years to earn their place in the societal and political aspects of the United States. They have made incredible progress and broken major boundaries, and still continue to do so.