Women’s History Month
“History” had traditionally meant political history—a chronicle of the key political events and of the leaders, primarily men, who influenced them. 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.
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.