It’s hard to believe, but Women’s History Month is only 24 years old. In 1987 Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. This was the culmination of efforts by many to gain official recognition for the contributions of women to United States history.
In 1980 President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th that year as National Women’s History Week. The National Women’s History Project and other organizations lobbied to have this recognition have a permanent month instead of a specific week that changed yearly. By 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rational to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March as National Women’s History Month. For more information go to The National Women’s History Project.
We are lucky to have a museum close by that celebrates women’s achievements. The Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame is a great place to learn about the role of women in Michigan history. The Center opened to the public on June 10, 1987, the anniversary date of Michigan’s ratification of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment. It is located at 213 W. Main St in Lansing.
Some famous Michigan women in history include: Cora Mae Brown, the first African American woman state senator, Ida Lippman, a pioneer for women in criminal justice, Cora Reynolds Anderson, the only Native American woman ever elected to the Michigan House or Senate and Anna Clemenc, a pioneer of the labor movement in Michigan.
- Sisters : The Lives of America’s Suffragists
- A Few Good Women : America’s Military Women…
- Iron Jawed Angels
- Hands on the Freedom Plow
- We Can Do It! A Celebration of Michigan Women
- Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
- Life So Far (Betty Friedan)
- America’s Joan of Arc (Anna Elizabeth Dickinson)
-Anne R., CADL Reference Librarian