Women's History Month: March

Important dates in Women's History:

 

March

March 3, 1887

Anne SullivanAnne Sullivan arrived at the home of young Helen Keller to begin to teach her to communicate.

 

 

 

March 3, 1913

The National Women's Party organized a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., the Marchday before Wilson's inauguration. Drawing away the crowds from inaugural events, leaders hoped to put pressure on the new president to pay attention to women's rights. It is said that when Wilson arrived in town he found the streets empty, instead of full with welcoming crowds, and was told that everyone was on Pennsylvania Avenue watching the parade. Before the end of his second term in 1920, Wilson and Congress approved the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.

March 8, 1857

Women workers in New York City strike for higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions.

Frances Perkins March 4, 1933

Frances Perkins is sworn in as Secretary of Labor, first woman in U.S. cabinet. Perkins was the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945. As a loyal supporter of her friend Franklin D. Roosevelt, she helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition.

 

March 4, 1917Jeanette Rankin

Peace activist and suffragist Jeanette Rankin became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. A lifelong pacifist, she was the only member of Congress to vote against United States entry into World War II and one of fifty to vote against World War I. Additionally, she led resistance to the Vietnam War. To date, she is the only woman to be elected to Congress from Montana.

March 7, 1870

1870Wyoming women were allowed on juries. This right later was taken away until the 1950s, when women once again were admitted to serve.

 

 

March 8, 1857

Women workers in New York City strike for higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions.

March 8, 1908International Women's Day

First International Women's Day, founded by German labor activist Clara Zetkin. International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Janet RenoMarch 12, 1993

Janet Reno became the first woman US Attorney General. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11.

 

 

 

March 20, 1852Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States, so much so in the latter case that the novel intensified the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War. Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, focused the novel on the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering Black slave around whom the stories of other characters-both fellow slaves and slave owners-revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the cruel reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century (and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible) and is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. The book's impact was so great that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the American Civil War, Lincoln is often quoted as having declared, "So this is the little lady who made this big war."

March 22, 1638

Anne HutchinsonAnne Hutchinson banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her religious teachings. "She was a woman of haughty and fierce carriage, a nimble wit and active spirit, a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man," said Governor John Winthrop of religious pioneer Anne Hutchinson, whom he expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638 for her insistence on practicing religion as she chose, and on preaching herself.

An immigrant from England who settled in the New World in 1634, Anne Hutchinson came under fire from the Colony elders when she began expounding her theology at meetings in her home. She believed in a "covenant of grace," in which faith alone was enough to achieve salvation. Others that dominated the Colony disagreed, and when Winthrop became governor, Hutchinson was banished and excommunicated. She moved with her husband and family to the area of the country that became Rhode Island, and after her husband's death, she moved to Pelham Bay, Long Island, where in 1643 she and five of her children were killed in an Indian attack on the colony. Today this advocate of freedom of religion, the right to free assembly and women's rights is honored by the naming of the Hutchinson River and a major road, the Hutchinson River Parkway, in her honor.

March 22, 1972ERA

Equal Rights Amendment passed by Congress and sent to states for ratification. Freedom from legal sex discrimination, Alice Paul believed, required an Equal Rights Amendment that affirmed the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens. In 1923, in Seneca Falls for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Woman's Rights Convention, she introduced the "Lucretia Mott Amendment," which read: "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress until it passed in reworded form in 1972.

March 25, 1826

Matilda Joslyn Gage Matilda Joslyn Gage born. Gage was a 19th century suffragist, historian of women, newspaper editor, author and lecturer, woman's rights activist and theorist, advocate for civil rights, and abolitionist, who served as a top officer in the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) for twenty years. A committed abolitionist who opened her home as a stop on the Underground Railroad, she challenged the laws of her nation, risking arrest and imprisonment by helping fugitive slaves escape to freedom. Gage wrote about the superior position of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women and supported treaty rights and Native sovereignty. Influenced by the Haudenosaunee egalitarian culture, she in turn influenced the utopian feminist vision of her son-in-law, L. Frank Baum, in his fourteen Oz books.

Gloria Steinem

March  25, 1934

Gloria Steinem born. American feminist icon, journalist and women's rights advocate, Steinem is the founder and original publisher of Ms. magazine.

 

 

March 26, 1930

Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor born. O'Connor is an American jurist who was the first woman to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served from 1981 to 2006. Although she was considered a strict constructionist, her case-by-case approach to jurisprudence and her relatively moderate political views made her the crucial swing vote of the Court for many of years on the bench. She still objected to that characterization because she felt it painted her as an unprincipled jurist. In 2001, Ladies' Home Journal ranked her as the second most powerful woman in America.

March 30, 1932Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart became first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. was a noted American aviation pioneer, author and women's rights advocate. Earhart was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, which she was awarded as the first woman "aviatrix" to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island during an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.

March 31, 1776

Abigail AdamsAbigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams: "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

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