March is Women’s History Month. Did You Know Women’s History Month started as Women’s History Week Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread across the country as other communities initiated their own Women’s History Week celebrations the following year.
In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week.
Subsequent Presidents continued to proclaim a National Women’s History Week in March until 1987 when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamation designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
As we spend the month celebrating and acknowledging women’s often underrecognized accomplishments and contributions to humanity it seems appropriate to take a look back and a look forward; from women’s suffrage to the current state of feminism in the 21st century and the relevancy of celebratory months.
And what better way to reflect on the past and speculate on the future than to have as our very first guest, historian Dr. Victoria Wolcott, professor of history at the University at Buffalo.
Check out Dr. Wolcott’s newest book: Living in the Future: Utopianism and the Long Civil Rights Movement First Edition.