Celebrating Women’s History Month

By Megan Jones, Advertising Manager

The month of March brings multiple holidays along with it, from Ash Wednesday to St. Patrick’s Day; so, I’m sure you’ll find yourself celebrating at some point. One of the most important holidays being celebrated is Women’s History Month.

This month long celebration of influential women first began in 1981 when President Carter was asked to proclaim the week of March 7th as “Women’s History Week.” After five years, the National Women’s History Project petitioned for Congress to declare the full month of March as Women’s History Month. Congress declared March of 1987 “Women’s History Month,” and since 1995 each president has made sure it’s an annual occurrence.

Some of you may be thinking to yourself “A whole month dedicated to women?” or “What’s so special about females?” or “When is Men’s History Month?” I’m here to remind you that the world we live in today has been paved for us by someone at some point. Both men and women should therefore join together in this historic celebration.

West Liberty University History Professor, Sandra Czernek, stresses the importance of being aware of those who struggled before us. “We have it pretty easy today, but we are standing on the shoulders of giants. Women (and supportive men) risked their reputations, fortunes, and even their lives for the things we take for granted,” she said.

Czernek went on to mention the great debt we owe not only to the suffragettes who fought long and hard for women to receive the right to vote, but also to the women who proved females were capable of rule. For her, choosing a favorite woman of history is hard but if pressed, Rachel Carson would be her pick.

“The axiom that well-behaved women seldom make history does not apply to her. She was a mild-mannered civil servant who was absolutely fierce in her determination. Her seminal work ‘Silent Spring’ (1962) was written to raise public awareness of the dangers of pesticides,” Czernek said.

Although Carson endured opposition from the chemical industry, she remained steadfast in her work. Carson was battling breast cancer during the time, making her dedication even more remarkable, “To me, she had the courage of convictions that we all should emulate,” Czernek said.

If you’re looking for local celebrations, make sure to check the event calendars of public libraries. In the past, reenactments of famous females like Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, and more have been a hit. WVNCC is even scheduled to have Betsy Ross appear later this month!

Women’s History Month theme of 2017 is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” You can find more information about events during March and historic honorees here.

Photo credit: Biography.com