Women’s History Month is a dedicated month to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women to United States history. From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States.
Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history, and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. Presentations are at dozens of schools; hundreds of students participated in a “Real Woman” essay contest and a parade in downtown Santa Rosa.
The idea emerged within communities, school districts, and organizations nationwide a few years later. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week. The U.S. Congress followed suit the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.