March is Women’s History Month, a time to pay tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society. The origins of the celebration started with a Congressional resolution passed and signed by President Reagan in 1981 for a “Women’s History Week”. In 1987, Congress expanded the resolution by designating the entire month of March as Women’s History Month. Many national institutions such as the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institute are holding special events at their various locations throughout the month. You can also visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, which was the epicenter for the struggle of women’s rights in the mid 1800’s. Teachers can put together lesson plans for their classes that share the stories of the many women in our past who have helped to shape our country.
The Theme of the 2014 Women’s History Month is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment”. The honorees vary from a current member of Congress to African-American and Indian Rights Advocates. Some of the honorees include: Chipeta, an Indian Rights Advocate and Diplomat who lived in the late 1800’s, Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, an African-American Author and Educator, Agatha Tregal Harrison, an Educator, Author and Advocate for the Deaf Community, Francis Oldham Kelsey, a Pharmacologist and Public Health Activist, and Tammy Buckworth, a current member of Congress and an Iraq War Veteran.
Atlanta’s Adamsville-Collier Heights Branch Library is having a display honoring the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month from March 1st to March 31st. There is also an event with the Women in Bio organization at the Atlanta Science Festival on March 29, 2014 for girls of all ages. The members of the group will conduct fun science labs specifically tailored for girls including candy chromatography, a brain demonstration, a lily dissection and introduction to women in history who are relevant to these events.
Women’s History Month is a relatively new designated celebration that will only grow in popularity over time. There have been many, many women who have played and are continuing to play roles in the shaping of our technology, political systems and everyday life.