In 1980, a small group of women in Santa Rosa, California, set out on a mission.
Noticing that only a miniscule percent of textbook content was devoted to the achievements and accomplishments of women in the United States, activists Molly Murphy MacGregor, Mary Ruthsdotter, Maria Cuevas, Paula Hammett and Bette Morgan set out not to rewrite history but to ensure it became more inclusive.
The National Women’s History Alliance, formerly the National Women’s History Project, successfully lobbied Congress to designate March as Women’s History Month and has since worked to recognize and celebrate the roles women have played in the building and strengthening of the nation. Through the years, the group has received numerous educational awards and honors for its efforts. In 1997, it launched an award-winning website to serve as a clearinghouse for multicultural women’s history information. The women’s history highlights for the month of February on the website include:
- 1, 1978: The first postage stamp to honor a black woman, Harriet Tubman, is issued in Washington, D.C.
- 4, 1987: The first National Women in Sports Day is celebrated by presidential proclamation.
- 11, 1989: The Rev. Barbara Harris became the first female bishop in the American Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion worldwide.
- 12, 1869: The Utah Territorial Legislature passes a bill allowing women to vote.
- 15, 1921: “The Suffrage Monument,” depicting Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, and sculpted by Adelaide Johnson, is dedicated at the U.S. Capitol.
- 15, 1953: Tenley Albright became the first American woman to win the World Figure Skating championship.
- 17, 1870: Esther Hobart Morris in Wyoming became the first American woman justice of the peace.
- 24, 1912: Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the largest Jewish organization in American history, focusing on health care and education in the Israel and the United States.
- 24, 1967: Jocelyn Bell Burnell makes the first discovery of a pulsar, a rapidly rotating neutron star.
- 27, 1922: U.S. Supreme Court upholds the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees women the right to vote.
For more information on the National Women’s History Alliance, visit nwhp.org.