- Wed, 2011-02-02 21:59
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The public celebration of women’s history in America began in 1978 with “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. In 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987 Congress expanded the celebration to a month and March was declared Women’s History Month.
Before 1970, women’s history was rarely the subject of serious study and no formal training was available on the subject anywhere in the country. Today almost every college offers women’s history courses and most major graduate programs offer doctoral degrees in the field. The woman’s movement of the sixties caused women to question their invisibility in traditional American history texts. The movement raised both women’s aspirations and their opportunities and transformed the study of history in the United States.
Each year The Miami Beach Women’s Conference recognizes a woman of extraordinary achievement as our annual “Woman In History” honoree and we make aa financial contribution from our event proceeds to benefit the memory of these great American role models.
The 2009 "Woman in History" honoree was "The Mother of Miami" Julia DeForest Tuttle. Miami is the only major U.S. city to have been founded by a woman. A portion of the 2009 Women's Conference proceeds were donated toward the maintenance of a statue erected in her honor.
The 2010 conference honored Miami Beach's own, Barbara Baer Capitman, Founder of the Miami Beach Historic Art Deco District; the only Twentieth Century Historic District as well as the pioneer of Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL). A portion of the proceeds from the 2010 Women's Conference were donated to The Barbara Capitman Archives.
The 2011 "Woman in History" honoree is Miami pioneer Mary Brickell, who with her husband William Brickell joined Julia Tuttle as a co-founder of the city of Miami. Many historians agree say that William Brickell was a very private man and it was Mary who managed their affairs and had a reputation for being a shrewd businesswoman with tremendous vision for the future of the city. An original portrait by committee member and local artist Winsome Bolt was donated to the City of Miami to commemorate her memory.
The Miami Beach Women's Conference selection committee shall be announcing the 2012 "Woman in History" in February in anticipation of this year's conference.