Women's History Month started as International Women's Day (celebrated on March 8 and is a holiday in some countries) in 1909. In 1978, the Sonoma Californa school district developed Women's History Week (around the week of March 8). Over the next year, other school districts, communities, and organizations had their own Women's History Week celebrations. From these events came calls for a National Women's History Week. This was federally recognized in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter.
The first joint Congressional resolution for the President to proclaim Women's History Week occurred in 1981. After petitions by the National Women's History Project, the proclamations were changed to Women's History Month starting in 1987. The first presidential proclamation that was not prompted by Congressional resolution was in 1995. Presidential proclamations that March is Women's History month have occurred to this day. In addition to presidential proclamations, states' departments of education encourage their school districts to incorporate women's history activities (essay contests, programs/speakers, curriculum materials) during March to celebrate Women's History Month.
Each year has a theme developed by the National Women's History Project ; 2019's theme is "Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-Violence".
Gwendolyn Boyd - (Montgomery, AL) educator, first female president of Alabama State University.
Courteney Cox - (Birmingham, AL) actress, star of "Friends" and "Cougar Town".
Mariel Hamm-Garciaparra (Mia Hamm) - (Selma, AL) professional soccer player, a leading scorer for international goals.
Helen Keller - (Tuscumbia, AL) first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor's of arts degree and became an author, activist, and lecturer.
Coretta Scott King - (Marion, LA) civil rights activist, founder of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Harper Lee - (Monroeville, AL) author of the award-winning "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Rosa Parks - (Tuskegee, AL) civil rights activist whose refusal to give up her bus seat led to the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Some books and e-books in our collection related to the breadth of women's history include (selections: JD, NF) :