Today in Feminist History: Thirty years of Women’s History Month

Today marks the first day of Women’s History Month 2010.
Women’s History Month saw it’s beginnings thirty years ago, when Women’s History Week was instituted by an act of Congress. It wasn’t until 1987 that the week was expanded into the entire month of March.
About the month:

Before the 1970’s, the topic of women’s history was largely missing from general public consciousness. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978 and chose the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The celebration was met with positive response, and schools began to host their own Women’s History Week programs. The next year, leaders from the California group shared their project at a Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only became determined to begin their own local Women’s History Week projects but also agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women’s History Week.
In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) cosponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a “Women’s History Week.”
In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to expand the celebration to the entire month of March. Since then, the National Women’s History Month Resolution has been approved every year with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

This year’s theme is “Writing Women Back into History.” For more resources on the month, check out the National Women’s History Project.

Join the Conversation