#DidYouKnow: Women’s History Month

March is designated as Women’s History Month! However, did you know that Women’s History Month started out as Women’s History Week?

Women around the US began women history celebrations during the first week of March to gain the attention of nation. As the recognition and participation during these women conventions increased, President Jimmy Carter declared a Presidential Proclamation for the week of March 8th to become the National Women’s History Week in 1980.

“From the settlers who first came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked 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.”

President Jimmy Carter’s Message designating March 2-8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week

Successive Presidents went on year after year and continued to proclaim National Women’s History Week in March until 1987 when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which finally declared March as Women’s History Month.

Did you know that every year there is a different theme for Women’s History Month?

The National Women’s History Alliance chooses and publishes the annual theme for Women’s History Month. The 2019 Women’s History Month theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This years theme honors women who have pioneered efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and led the implementation of nonviolence to change society.

If you would like more information on women’s history exhibits and collections check out the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum who feature a plethora of information regarding women’s history.