“Women’s History Month” celebrated every March is dedicated to honoring the contributions of women in American History.
In 1978, to overcome the lack of women’s representation in the K-12 curriculum and for it to coincide with the “International Women’s Day” which has been celebrated since 1911, the Sonoma County Education Task Force recognized the week of March 8 as “Women’s History Week”. This recognition ignited a movement across the US leading to the “National Women's History Project" (NWHP) (later to become “National Women's History Alliance” (NWHA)). NWHP was dedicated to writing women back into history and to telling the historical narratives of the women who transform our nation. The project, based out of Santa Rosa, California, was started in 1980 by women's history activists Molly Murphy MacGregor, who was also an SRJC women's history instructor at the time, Mary Ruthsdotter, Maria Cuevas, Paula Hammett, and Bette Morgan. In the NWHP’s own words, “We are retelling history. And changing the future. We believe that knowing women’s history gives all of us—female and male—the power and inspiration to succeed. We believe that Our History Is Our Strength.”
With this momentum, President Jimmy Carter became the first president to declare the Week of March 8, 1980, as “National Women’s History Week.” President Jimmy Carter's message to the nation designating March 2-8, 1980 as “National Women's History Week” was as follows: "From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this Nation. Too often, the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America were as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well."
In 1981, Congress authorized that the week of March 7, 1982, would be celebrated as “Women’s History Week.”
Five years later, with the lobbying of the NWHP, Congress designated the whole month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”
Annual Proclamations by our presidents announce the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”