Women’s History Month is celebrated each year during the month of March. As with Black History Month, women started out with a week-long celebration in 1980. Seven years later, in 1987, after pressure from petitioning organizations, Congress declared March as Women’s History Month. The month of March is used to celebrate the contributions that women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. Canadians have a similar Women’s History Month celebration during the month of October.
Throughout the month of March during Women’s History Month, Copper and Brass Sales will be celebrating by sharing with you inspiring stories of some of our own employees and perhaps a few customers. We’ll also share some educational topics on the history of women’s rights and the struggles women have encountered over the years.
During the first week of Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look at what it took for women to achieve this month of celebration and recognition. In the 1970s, educators from Sonoma County in California took note of how few women were included in the educational curriculum. These educators brought the concern to the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women who, in 1987, initiated the first local week-long celebration of Women’s History Week. Since International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8, it was that week that was selected to host the celebration.
The local activities and celebrations were met with tremendous response and ended up gaining the attention of colleges, historians, and other organizations. Molly Murphy MacGregor, a member of the originating group in Sonoma County, was invited to participate in The Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College which was chaired by historian Gerda Lerner. It was also attended by other national leaders and organizations for women and girls. Leaders from these organizations then decided to implement similar celebrations within their organizations, communities, and school districts; also deciding to pursue an effort to secure Women’s History Week on a national level.
Through their petitioning, President Carter proclaimed the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. Each year, the dates of National Women’s History Week needed to change to include March 8 and therefore every year a new lobbying effort was needed for a new declaration of this celebration. By 1986, 14 states had already shifted and declared March as Women’s History Month. The actions by these states were used by the National Women’s History Project as momentum and pressure to lobby Congress to declare March of 1987 as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity.
News spread throughout the nation where educational departments encouraged celebrations as a way to achieve equity goals within classrooms, the initial goal of educators in Sonoma County!
We invite you to follow along with our coverage of women this month while we spotlight some of our own inspiring female employees at Copper and Brass Sales. You can receive emailed updates whenever we add a new posting to this blog by subscribing through the box on the right sidebar of this blog.