“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.” -President Jimmy Carter, 1980
The month of March has been recognized as Women’s History Month in the United States since 1987. In 1978, the week of March 8th, which is recognized as International Women’s Day, was celebrated as “Women’s History Week” by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women. This began a movement over the next few years, which led to President Carter’s 1980 Presidential Proclamation recognizing the week of March 8th 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. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But 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.
As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.”
I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980.
I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.
Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people.
This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
President Jimmy Carter’s Message to the nation designating March 2-8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.
A Congressional resolution on Women’s History Week received bi-partisan support in 1981, and several states began to declare the month of March as Women’s History Month over subsequent years. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.
Throughout the month of March, Oakton CoB will be highlighting the achievements of women; some of whom are famous for their inspirational stories, and some who may be less famous, but no less inspiring. Who are the women who have inspired you to persevere? Whom do you look to as a role model in your life of faith? Who is your heroine of women’s history?