Mar 5, 2014

Web Wednesday- Women's History Month

March is National Women's History Month and a wonderful opportunity to learn more about some of the amazing women who have influenced and shaped the world we know today in the United States of America.

The origins of Women's History Month began in the not so distant past. This special month began as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week."  In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month." Now instead of a mere week to celebrate American women and their important contributions, an entire month was allotted!  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” 

Each year a theme is chosen for Women's History Month and the 2014 theme is Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. For more information on this year's theme and past themes, as well as past themes, check out the National Women's History Month Project website.

Women suffrage in Washington, D.C 1916-1918. Photo from the National Archives.!/geo:38.8901309454,-77.0502305031/zoom:15/dialog:5259002/tab:stories_tab_content/

Many government institutions, such as the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Institution, come together to bring you interesting historical resources during this celebratory month. You can find pictures, like the one above, and plenty of other great resources such as videos and online exhibits, at the National Women's History Month official website.

Speaking of the National Park Service, did you know that there is a Women's Rights National Historic Park in New York? An interesting site within the Women's Rights National Historical Park is the Wesleyan Chapel, picture below. Built in 1843, the chapel was the site of the First Women's Rights Convention. Learn about it at the NPS website.

The Wesleyan Chapel.

The U.S. Census Bureau provides many facts regarding the past and present of women in the workplace, women's education and other facets of life in America. Did you know that there are 1.6 million female veterans in the United States according to a 2012 survey? Find more facts at the Bureau's website.

Infographic displaying women's-to'men's earnings in the U.S. from 1970-2012.

Do you have a Pinterest account? Well, so does the National Archives! Learn about the struggle many suffragists faced during their march towards equality while you pin here.

Finally, the American Library Association's Feminist Task Force, of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, compiles an annual annotated list of stellar, well-written and well-illustrated books that contain feminist content intended for young readers (ages birth through 18).  This list is known as the Amelia Bloomer List and you can find the 2013 selections as well as past years on the ALA website 
and on the Amelia Bloomer Project blog.

"Here Come the Girl Scouts! The Amazing, All-True Story of Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure " by Shana Corey. An ALA Amelia Bloomer selection.

Whether you have a little girl at home, are a young woman yourself or perhaps you aren't a woman at all, this is a wonderful month to dive into some amazing and inspiring American history and celebrate Women's History Month!