NPSD Celebrates Women's History Month

Women's History Month

Women's History Month

A Brief History


Since 1910, March 8th has been observed as International Women's Day by people around the world. In 1978, an education task force in Sonoma County, California, kicked off Women's History Week on this day. The goal was to draw attention to the fact that women's history wasn't really included in the K-12 school curriculum. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the entire month of March as Women's History Month. The following year, Congress declared March as Women's History Month.

Traditionally, history has focused on political, military, and economic leaders and events. This approach has often excluded women, both leaders and ordinary citizens, from the accounts. Women's history does not rewrite history, but rather provides a more complete picture of what the women were doing and experiencing during the well-known and lesser known moments in history.

A Few Fun Facts


1. February 28, 1909 marked the first Woman's History Day in New York City. It commemorated the one-year anniversary of the garment workers' strikes when 15,000 women marched through lower Manhattan. From 1909 to 1910, immigrant women who worked in garment factories held a strike to protest their working conditions.
2. The Wyoming Territory legislature gave every woman the right to vote in 1869. They elected the country's first female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, in 1924.
3. The 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was signed into law on August 26, 1920. At that time, a number of other laws prohibited Native American, Black, Asian American, and Latinx women from voting. It wasn't until 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, that discriminatory tactics such as literacy tests were outlawed, and all women could vote.
4. Women couldn't get credit cards on their own until 1974.
5. Women make up 14.4% of all active duty military members.
6. Elanor Roosevelt held the first all female press conference on March 6, 1933. She would cover issues of "special interest and value to the women of the country," according to the National Women's History Museum. Over the next 12 years she held 348 press conferences for female reporters.
7. Julia DeForest Tuttle (January 22, 1849 - September 14, 1898) was an American businesswoman who owned the property upon which Miami, Florida was built. For this reason, she is called the "Mother of Miami". She is the only woman to have founded what would become a major American city.
8. In 1836, Wesleyan became the first women's college in the world. Over the next several decades, other women's colleges opened up, including Barnard, Vassar, Bryn Mawr, Smith, and Wellesley. In total, 50 women's colleges opened up in the U.S. between 1836 and 1875. Spelman College, an all women's Historically Black College and University (HBCU) was founded in 1881.


Please note: The following articles focus on racism, economic oppression, and reproductive rights. These are informative articles, important to women's history, designed to deepen the understanding and knowledge of adults. This information should be reviewed carefully before shared with older students.