Monday, March 05, 2007

National Women's History Project

The National Women's History Project is an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs. They have a wonderful web site chock full of information. As you would imagine, the promotion of National Women's History Month is one of their many goals. The 2007 theme for National Women's History Month is Generations of women moving history forward. "This theme recognizes the wisdom and tenacity of the generations of women who have come before us and those who will follow."

The NWHP web site presents a nice history of National Women's History Month, and offers a printable brochure that would make a nice handout for genealogical society meetings ;-) There's a fun quiz on the site that will stump you I'm sure but also give you some interesting trivia to discuss at your next party or meeting, such as... Who was the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872)?

The NWHP sponsors a contest each year called, Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams. This year's winners created some awesome projects. There's also a Biography Center where they list 145 women who are former National Women's History Week/Month Honorees... some famous and not so famous names here, check it out.

Probably my favorite feature on the NWHP web site is the calendar. They have a year's worth of monthly calendars which list the highlights of women's history and the birthdays of notable women. Here is the calendar for March:

Women's History Calendar
March Highlights in US Women's History

* March 8 - A day internationally recognized as International Women's Day - it's origins tracing back to protests US and Europe to honor and fight for the political rights for working women
* March 20, 1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin", is published and becomes America's first book to sell over 1 million copies
* Mar 30, 1888 - The National Council of Women of the US is organized by Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
* March 17, 1910 - Camp Fire Girls is established as the first American interracial, non-sectarian organization for girls
* March 12, 1912 - Juliette Gordon Low assembled 18 girls together in Savannah, Georgia, for the first-ever Girl Scout meeting
* March 4, 1917 - Jeannette Rankin of Montana is sworn in as the first
* March 6, 1934 - Eleanor Roosevelt becomes the first First lady to travel by air to a foreign country
* March 2, 1973 - Women begin pilot training for the US Navy
* March 1, 1978 - Women's History Week is first observed in Sonoma, California
* March 21, 1986 - Debi Thomas becomes first African American woman to win gold medal in a world skating competition
* March 23, 1917 - Virginia Woolf establishes the Hogarth Press with her husband, Leonard Woolf.
* March 1, 1987 - Congressional resolution naming Women's History Month is passed
* Mar 31, 1776 - Abigail Adams writes to husband John who is helping to frame the Declaration of Independence: "Remember the ladies..."

March Birthdays

* March 3, 1962 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Considered the world's greatest female athlete; most decorated woman in U.S. Olympic track and field history with sixth Games medals overall.
* March 5, 1931 - Geraldyn (Jerrie) Cobb - Record-setting aviator; first woman to pass qualifying exams for astronaut training, 1959 but rejected as military did not allow female jet pilots at the time.
* March 7, 1938 - Janet Guthrie - Pioneering woman auto racer; first woman to compete in Indianapolis 500 (1977) and Daytona 500 (1977); only woman to place in top 10 finish at Indy 500 (1978)
* March 9, 1928 (1987) - Graciela Olivarez - Chicana activist; first woman and Latina law graduate from Notre Dame Law School; first woman chair of Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
* March 16, 1933 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Supreme Court Justice
* March 18, 1964 - Bonnie Blair - Speed skater; the most successful Winter Olympian in US history and 5 time gold medalist
* March 23, 1857 (1915) - Fannie Farmer - authored famous cookbook, "The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook", including accurate and specific ingredient measurements for the first time that would become standardized cooking measurements
* March 23, 1924 (1980) - Bette Nesmith Graham - invented Liquid Paper in her kitchen; sold her company to Gillette Corp. for $47.5 million; created 2 foundations to help women find new ways to make a living
* March 24, 1826 (1898) - Matilda Joslyn Gage - Suffragist, women's rights activist and theorist, historian
* March 24, 1912 - Dorothy Height - Served over 40 years as President, National Council of Negro Women; 2002 NWHP Women's History Month honoree
* March 25, 1935 - Gloria Steinem - Women's rights activist and journalist; founding editor of Ms. Magazine; helped found National Women's Political Caucus, the Women's Action Alliance, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women
* March 26, 1930 - Sandra Day O'Connor - First woman to join Supreme Court as justice (1981)
* March 27, 1924 (1990) - Sarah Vaughan - World renown jazz singer and pianist known as the "Divine One"
* March 31, 1889 (1975) - Muriel Wright - Choctaw Indian; fought for recompense for First Americans

The NWHP web site has so much more than the handful of items I've mentioned. When you visit you'll want to allow a good bit of time to explore it. While you're there, don't forget to look for surnames that appear on your family tree. You just may find that one of your ancestors has made a contribution to Women's History.