Skip to Main Content

Women's History Month

Women's History Month

What is Women's History Month?

Group of women holding banner that says "Sonoma County Celebrates Women's History Week"
Women's History Month owes its creation to an initiative in the Sonoma, California school district. In 1978, the community of Sonoma spent the first week of March learning about women's contributions to culture and society. The celebrations included learning initiatives in schools and the community, a parade, and an essay writing contest called "Real Women," where students collected oral histories of women in their community they admired. The initiative spread quickly, and by 1980 President Jimmy Carter gave the first presidential proclamation of Women's History Week, taking place on March 8th to coincide with International Women's Day. Six years later, the week was extended to include the whole of March and is still celebrated nationally and declared by the President each year. 

Presidential Proclamation

First Presidential Proclamation for Women's History Week

The first presidential proclamation for Women's History was given by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to declare a National Women's History Week. Six years later, it was changed to a month long celebration. Here is some of the text of that proclamation:
"I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980. I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul. Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people.This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."- President Jimmy Carter.

2024 Women's History Month Presidential Proclamation

This proclamation was given February 29th to officially declare this year's Women's History Month, which the library hopes you will join us in celebrating! Below is a portion of President Biden's speech:
"Throughout history, the vision and achievements of powerful women have strengthened our Nation and opened the doors of opportunity wider for all of us.  Though their stories too often go untold, all of us stand on the shoulders of these sung and unsung trailblazers — from the women who took a stand as suffragists, abolitionists, and labor leaders to pioneering scientists and engineers, groundbreaking artists, proud public servants, and brave members of our Armed Forces." - President Joseph R. Biden.

National Women's History Month Resources