Friday, March 14, 2014

Women's History Month

Women's History Month
Women's History Month Exhibit at Loyola  New Orleans University Honor Program - Historic Artifacts courtesy of Historic.us. 
Women's History Month, in the United States of America, highlights the influences of women on events in history and contemporary society. The month set aside for celebration in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and Australia, is March. It thus encompasses International Women's Day on March 8th, which, having begun as a Socialist political event, by 1911 was celebrated  by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.


On May 29th, 1919, female riveters pose for the camera at the Navy Yard in Puget Sound, Washington. This photograph records women working in industrial jobs traditionally filled by men, a generation before World War II's celebrated "Rosie the Rivetor" publicity campaign. - Image Courtesy of the US National Archives
In 1978, a group of women on the Sonoma County Commission initiated a "Women's History Week" in California around the March 8th date.  The following year, historian Gerda Lerner, in conjunction with fellow historians, created a Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College.  Molly Murphy MacGregor, then the Director of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women, was invited to a Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College to discuss the importance of using Women's History Week as a focal celebration to recognize and celebrate women's historic accomplishments. They agreed to work toward securing an official Congressional Resolution that would declare the week of March 8th as "National Women's History Week." The process of expanding the event on a national scale quickly took root and President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation, declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women's History Week. The proclamation stated: 
From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well. 
As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.” 
I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980. 
I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality - - Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul. 
Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people. 
This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Meanwhile, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) co-sponsored a joint bipartisan Congressional Resolution for National Women's History Week in 1981. The resolution was passed by Congress as Pub. L. 97-28, which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week."  School boards across the country were quick to adopt the event by initiating their own local week-long celebrations with some, along with their respective states, expanding the event to a Women's History Month. 

In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month.  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month



Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.


Women's History Month Proclamation 
By the President of the United States of America 

March 16, 1987
A Proclamation - From earliest times, women have helped shape our Nation. Historians today stress all that women have meant to our national life, but the rest of us too should remember, with pride and gratitude, the achievements of women throughout American history.
Those achievements span the wide range of human endeavor. They have not been attained without the quiet courage and sacrifice of millions of women, some famed, most not. Women have established themselves in business and the professions, and today women outnumber men as undergraduates at our colleges and universities. Women have fought for moral and social reform and have taken part in and led many great social and political movements of our land. Women have founded many of our philanthropic, cultural, educational, and charitable institutions. Women have served our Nation with valor and distinction during wartime, nursing the wounded, piloting airplanes, performing vital jobs in defense plants. Women have forged a place for themselves in public life, serving on the Supreme Court, in the Congress, and in Cabinet posts; becoming Ambassadors; and holding Federal Executive posts that affect the lives of every citizen.
Most importantly, as women take part in the world of work, they also continue to embrace and nurture the family as they have always done. All Americans can be truly grateful for the role of women as the heart of the family and for their every accomplishment today and throughout our history.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 20, has designated the month of March 1987 as ``Women's History Month'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 1987 as Women's History Month. I call upon all Americans to mark this month with appropriate observances to honor the achievements of American women.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.
Ronald Reagan

Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.  
The National Women's History Project summarizes their efforts as follows:
  • In 1980, we were a group of women who noticed that women were absent from our texts. No more than 3% of the content was devoted to women.
  • Girls had few role models. Girls and boys and many adults assumed women did nothing important. This perception needed to be addressed.
  • We convinced Congress and the White House of the need for our nation to celebrate and recognize women’s role in history on an annual basis. As a result of our efforts, the week of March 8th (International Women’s Day) was officially designated as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, we led the successful campaign to have the entire month of March declared National Women’s History Month.
  • We mobilize and unify the national celebrations of Women's History Month in March each year by choosing an annual theme.
  • We promote a multicultural women’s history perspective by honoring women of diverse cultural, ethnic, occupational, racial, class, and regional backgrounds.
  • Today our aim is as clear and simple as it was 25 years ago: to teach as many people as possible about women’s role in history.
  • Every year we send out 100,000 catalogs and distribute tens of thousands of women's history posters, celebratory materials, books, videos, and curriculum resources.
  • Our website has over 1,000,000 visitors a year. Additionally, we answer over 2,500 e-mails and letters each year from students, teachers, reporters, and other interested individuals requesting information.
  • We work with schools, colleges, companies, churches, clubs, communities, government offices, unions, publishers, and the media.
  • Our staff has conducted women's history training sessions and women's historic site tours in 42 states. We have trained over 30,000 teachers and federal program managers and have delivered over 2,500 speeches.
Most recently, in March 2011, the administration of President Barack Obama commissioned and release  a report: 
Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, a statistical portrait showing how women are faring in the United States today and how their lives have changed over time.  This is the first comprehensive federal report on women since 1963, when the Commission on the Status of Women, established by President Kennedy and chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, produced a report on the conditions of women. Women in America focuses on five critical areas: people, families and income; education; employment; health; and crime and violence.
This report was the first comprehensive federal report on women since the report produced in 1963 by the Commission on the Status of Women, established by President John F. Kennedy.



Executive Order 10980 dated December 14, 1961, in which President John F. Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women., 12/16/1961: “WHEREAS a Governmental Commission should be charged with the responsibility for developing recommendations for overcoming discrimination in government and private employment on the basis of sex and for developing recommendations for services which will enable women to continue their role as wives and mothers while making a maximum contribution to the world around them…”  The President’s Commission on the Status of Women ran until October 1963 when it issued its final report.  President Kennedy appointed former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt as the first chair of the commission, serving until her death in 1962. 

Today, Women's History Month has been a catalyst for the current change in US political culture.  The mother of US Women's History Month, Gerda Lerner, writes
"Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin "helping" them. Such a world does not exist -- never has." 
Clearly, the late 20th Century feminist movement has launched a rebirth or Renaissance of Women that is akin to the cultural 14th to 17th Century Renaissance that was a great revival era of art, literature, and learning in Europe. 

Unlike the 14th Century Renaissance, this rebirth of Women rejects classical age nostalgia of western civilization and its homocentric view of the male as
 the center of the human universe. Instead this Renaissance of Women, whose well springs flow from events and legislation like Women's History Month, examines the role of both genders in the birth and advancement of civilization while redefining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.     





Chart Comparing Presidential Powers 
of  America's Four United Republics - Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies
1774-1788


United Colonies Continental Congress
President
18th Century Term
Age
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
29
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
10/22–26/74
n/a
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
30
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
28
United States Continental Congress
President
Term
Age
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
29
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
n/a
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
21
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
41
United States in Congress Assembled
President
Term
Age
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
42
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
25
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
55
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
46
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
36
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
46
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
38
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
42
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
43
01/22/88 - 01/29/89
36

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
President
Term
Age
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
57
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
52
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
n/a
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
40
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
48
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
50
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
n/a
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
n/a
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
65
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
50
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
23
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
41
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
60
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
52
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
46
n/a
n/a
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
42
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
54
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
43
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
45
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
48
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
n/a
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
21
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
56
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
28
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
49
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
40
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
47
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
52
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
43
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
60
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
44
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
54
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
48
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
60
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
56
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
31
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
50
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
56
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
56
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
49
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
59
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
63
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
45
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
54
January 20, 2009 to date
45




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