By Jueseppi B.
March is Women’s History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.
About Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
A Gala Reception and Dinner Celebrating the National Women’s History Month 2014 Honorees “Women of Character, Courage and Commitment”
The National Women’s History Project
March 27, 2014
5:30 – Reception – Hors d’oeuvres cash bar
This celebration will be interpreted in American Sign Language.
Tickets are $150 (must be purchased in advance) – PURCHASE TICKET
Presidential Proclamation — Women’s History Month, 2014
Throughout our Nation’s history, American women have led movements for social and economic justice, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, enriched our culture with stunning works of art and literature, and charted bold directions in our foreign policy. They have served our country with valor, from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan. During Women’s History Month, we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our country what it is today.
This month, we are reminded that even in America, freedom and justice have never come easily. As part of a centuries-old and ever-evolving movement, countless women have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress — activists who gathered at Seneca Falls and gave expression to a righteous cause; trailblazers who defied convention and shattered glass ceilings; millions who claimed control of their own bodies, voices, and lives. Together, they have pushed our Nation toward equality, liberation, and acceptance of women’s right — not only to choose their own destinies — but also to shape the futures of peoples and nations.
Through the grit and sacrifice of generations, American women and girls have gained greater opportunities and more representation than ever before. Yet they continue to face workplace discrimination, a higher risk of sexual assault, and an earnings gap that will cost the average woman hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her working lifetime.
As women fight for their seats at the head of the table, my Administration offers our unwavering support. The first bill I signed as President was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which made it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination. Under the Affordable Care Act, we banned insurance companies from charging women more because of their gender, and we continue to defend this law against those who would let women’s bosses influence their health care decisions. Last year, recognizing a storied history of patriotic and courageous service in our Armed Forces, the United States military opened ground combat units to women in uniform. We are also encouraging more girls to explore their passions for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and taking action to create economic opportunities for women across the globe. Last fall, we finalized a rule to extend overtime and minimum wage protections to homecare workers, 90 percent of whom are women. And this January, I launched a White House task force to protect students from sexual assault.
As we honor the many women who have shaped our history, let us also celebrate those who make progress in our time. Let us remember that when women succeed, America succeeds. And from Wall Street to Main Street, in the White House and on Capitol Hill — let us put our Nation on the path to success.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2014 as Women’s History Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2014, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. I also invite all Americans to visit www.WomensHistoryMonth.gov to learn more about the generations of women who have left enduring imprints on our history.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
Women’s History Month at the Movies
The National Endowment for the Humanities highlights three documentaries — The Abolitionists, No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII and I Came to Testify. These films document women’s contribution to create a better society by challenging oppressive forces and fighting for change in politics, journalism, and international law.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park commemorates the First Women’s Rights Convention of 1848 and its key figures: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, her sister Martha Wright, Mary Ann McClintock, and Jane Hunt. During the fourteen years following the convention, Stanton’s house served as a base for the continued development of the Women’s Rights Movement.
Images of the Suffrage March on Washington—National Archives Pintrest Board
March 3rd marks 100 years since suffragists marched on Washington. The “National Policy of Nagging” Pinterest board, created by the National Archives, honors this anniversary. Suffragists faced a difficult road in their march towards equality. Even women opposed giving women the right to vote. One letter called it “an endorsement of nagging as a national policy.”
The Women of Four Wars
The limited but important roles women played in Korea and Vietnam paved the path to more expanded — and in some cases more dangerous — specialties in recent wars.
2014 National Women’s History Month Theme & Honorees
This year’s theme, Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment, honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. They have demonstrated their character, courage and commitment as mothers, educators, institution builders, business, labor, political and community leaders, relief workers, women religious, and CEOs. Their lives and their work inspire girls and women to achieve their full potential and encourage boys and men to respect the diversity and depth of women’s experience.
These role models along with countless others demonstrate the importance of writing women back into history.
Announcing the 2014 National Women’s History Month Theme and Honorees
Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment
We would like to thank everyone who nominated one of the extraordinary women for consideration as a 2014 Honorees. This year’s Honorees represent a wide-range of occupations and accomplishments. We will be recognizing them as well as the women who were nominated in our 2014 Women’s History Gazette.
(In Chronological Order)
Women of Character, Courage
Chipeta was a wise and outspoken advisor to her husband, a Ute Indian leader. Born into the Kiowa Apache tribe in the 1840s, Chipeta was raised by the Uncompahgre Ute tribe in what is now western Colorado. In her teens she wedded Ouray, who became a powerful Ute chief during the often violent and brutal times of western settlement. Chipeta was a peacemaker who did not consider all settlers to be the enemy, often giving food to starving white families. In 1879 when her tribe was about to start a war with settlers, Chipeta successfully convinved Chief Ouray to call off all fighting, arguing the war would be devastating to the Utes.
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858 – 1964)
African American Educator and Author
Anna J. Cooper was an author, educator, speaker, and among the leading intellectuals of her time. Born into enslavement, she wrote “A Voice from the South,” widely considered one of the first articulations of Black feminism. Throughout her long life, Cooper worked for the betterment of African American women’s lives, which she saw as the foundation for a more just society for everyone. Cooper worked at Washington D.C.’s M Street — now Dunham High School — for nearly 40 years, focusing the all black high school on preparing students for higher education, successfully sending many students to prestigious universities.
Agatha Tiegel Hanson (1873 – 1959)
Educator, Author, and Advocate for Deaf Community
Agatha Tiegel Hanson was a teacher, poet, and advocate for the deaf community. Unable to hear and blind in one eye from a childhood illness, she never allowed her disabilities to hold her back. She came of age at a time when most deaf people were denied access to education, and deaf women especially had few educational options. She was among the first women admitted to Gallaudet University, which is still the only college in America dedicated to the education of deaf and hard of hearing students. Graduating first in her class, her valedictorian speech argued for the recognition of the intellect of women, a cause she advocated throughout her life.
Katharine Ryan Gibbs (1863 – 1934)
Women’s Employment Pioneer
Katharine Ryan Gibbs founded Katharine Gibbs School in 1911 to provide women with high-level secretarial training and the opportunity to earn their own incomes. Gibbs was a mother and housewife for much of her life, until she was widowed at 48 and left with no means to support herself or her two sons. Teaming up with her sister, Mary Ryan, they purchased a failing Providence, Rhode Island secretarial school in 1911. Her school quickly expanded, opening branches near many ivy-league universities. At a time when educated women were generally expected to become teachers or nurses, Katharine Gibbs School offered women an exceptional secretarial education and new opportunities, which made skilled office work a realistic career for women.
Frances Oldham Kelsey (1914 – Present)
Pharmacologist and Public Health Activist
Frances Oldham Kelsey as a Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) pharmacologist refused to approve thalidomide, a drug that was later proved to cause severe birth defects. The thalidomide crisis brought to light inadequacies in both drug clinical trials and the FDA’s approval process, leading Congress to pass legislation giving the FDA more power and requiring manufacturers to disclose side effects. Dr. Kelsey continued her work at the FDA, directing the surveillance of drug testing, until her retirement in 2005 at age 91. In 2010 the FDA established the Frances Kelsey Award, an annual award given to a staff member for their commitment to scientific rigor.
Roxcy O’Neal Bolton (1926 – Present)
20th Century Women’s Rights Pioneer
Roxcy O’Neal Bolton is a lifelong advocate for women’s rights. She is the founder of Florida’s first battered women’s shelter and the nation’s first hospital-based Rape Treatment Center. Her extensive work also includes convincing National Airlines to offer maternity leave to (instead of firing) pregnant flight attendants, lobbying for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and persuading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to name hurricanes after both women and men. Bolton led the effort to create the Women’s Park in Miami, which opened in 1992 as the first outdoor space in the nation– honoring past and present women leaders.
Lisa Taylor (1974 – Present)
Civil Rights Attorney
Lisa Taylor is a leading civil rights trial attorney who has worked for over twelve years to ensure that civil rights laws are enforced around the country. Working with the Department of Justice, Taylor focuses primarily on educational and disability law and shows an unwavering commitment to ending discrimination and promoting equality and justice. Lisa was in Naval ROTC as a student and served as an officer aboard the USS Tarawa, where she developed the ship’s first program to address sexual harassment. Taylor became a lawyer out of a strong desire to serve those who could not serve themselves.
Tammy Duckworth (1968 – Present)
Member of Congress and Iraq War Veteran
Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative from Illinois, is an Iraq War veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In 2012, she became the first disabled woman elected to serve in the House of Representatives. Duckworth has a strong record advocating and implementing improvements to veteran’s services. In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12 2004. She lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion and was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
Jaida Im (1961- Present)
Advocate for Survivors of Human Trafficking
Jaida Im founded Freedom House, the first residential shelter for adult female survivors of human trafficking, in Northern California in 2010. Im left her 20-year career as a health care professional to found the non-profit organization. Under her direction, the program offers holistic case management, counseling, educational resources, and job training for victims of abduction and enslavement. In fall 2013, Freedom House opened The Nest to serve girls ages 12-17. This new shelter provides a space to help girls to recapture their interrupted youth in a loving family setting.
Ann Lewis (1937- Present)
Women’s Rights Organizer and Women’s History Advocate
Ann Lewis is a leader of progressive political reform focusing on the importance of personal engagement, social justice and women’s rights. She served as a White House Communications Director, is a national commentator on public policy, and champions the recognition of women’s history. Ann Frank Lewis grew up in a Jewish family who witnessed the Holocaust and its aftermath. Growing up with the name Ann Frank, she says “my parents, who talked often about current events, taught me how fortunate we were to live in a democracy, where we could choose our leaders. I would never take our political rights for granted.”
Carmen Delgado Votaw (1935 – Present)
International Women’s Rights Activist
Carmen Delgado Votaw is a leading advocate for women’s rights both nationally and internationally. She served on the International Women’s Year Commission, collaborated with all United Nations Conferences on Women, and significantly influenced the advancement of women in Latin America. Born and raised in Puerto Rico and inspired to fight for social justice by Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington, she has worked for over 50 years for the betterment of women, children, Latinos, and other minorities throughout the world. In 1996, she wrote “Puerto Rican Women,” a bilingual women’s history book. She received the Veteran Feminists of America Medal of Honor in 1999.
Arden Eversmeyer (1931 – Present)
The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project Founder
Arden Eversmeyer founded the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project (1999), to ensure that the stories of lesbians born in the first part of the 20th century, who were labeled “mentally ill”, fired from their jobs, rejected by their families, and even raped and murdered with impunity, are recorded in history. Project volunteers have documented over 320 diverse life stories recording the sacrifices and obstacles faced by lesbians of that era. The collection is now archived, and continues to grow, as part of the prestigious Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College. Today Eversmeyer is proud to live in a time when she can be her true self with acquaintances, friends, family, medical professionals, and everyone.
2014 National Women’s History Month Nominees
The women who were nominated to be 2014 National Women’s History Month Honorees represent the wide-range of women’s accomplishments and achievements. Each is a woman of courage commitment and character. Included in this year’s nominees are educators, institution builders, business, labor, political and community leaders, relief workers and CEOs. Many were pioneers in a variety of fields and all earned placement in numerous categories and endeavors.
Making Women’s Lives Visible
- Anne Montague (1939 – Present)
Director of non-profit Thanks! Plain and Simple, which creates projects focused on finding and honoring Rosie the Riveters
- Edna Buckman Kearns (1882 – 1934)
Imaginative suffragist who drove a horse-drawn wagon called the “Spirit of 1776” through Manhattan’s city traffic in 1913 to promote Votes for Women
- Lynn Marie Madison Jackson ( 1952 – Present)
Dred Scott Heritage Foundation Founder developed St. Louis school penny drives for a statue honoring the historic anti-slavery litigants Dred and Harriet Scott.
Builders of Communities and Institutions
- Kikako Nakauchi (1931 – Present)
Role model for young students emphasizing the importance of giving back to their own communities
- Victoria Wilder Crews (1946 – Present)
Life-long anti-drug and alcohol advocate who founded City of Refuge Point of Impact (CORPOI)
- Maria “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D. (1953 – Present)
A strong and determined advocate for quality educational opportunities for all children and their families.
- Frankie Sue Del Papa (1949 – Present)
Champion for women’s rights who also advocates for domestic violence prevention and consumer fraud protection and supports the arts, education, and the environment
- Ann Marie Delgado, M.Ed., J.D. (1972 – Present)
Influential educator and role model at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, CA, who developed a women’s studies curriculum for high school students
- Grace E. Harris (1933 – Present)
Visionary leader of the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University promoting the development of current and emerging leaders. .
- Nathalie C. Lilavois, Ed.D. (1965 – Present)
Educator who helped lay the foundation for rebranding the Malik Melodies Sisterhood, Inc, dedicated to fostering cultural enrichment and civic and social responsibility.
- Ri’Cha ri Sancho (1975 – Present)
Educator, performer, and mentor who advocates for African, Native American, and Latina cultural awareness
- Linda Pollack Shevitz (1943 – Present)
Maryland education leader who co-founded the National Association of Multicultural Educators and the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center
- Virginia Estelle Randolph (1874 – 1958)
Educator and industrial teacher who championed upgrading vocational training in African American schools throughout the country
Mothers and Mentors
- Triana LaDane Kuniken (1982 – Present)
Dedicated community and church member, mother, and mentor who works to guide the values of children
- Minnie Evelyn Greensmith O’Donnell (1922 – Present)
Drove an ambulance during the blitzkrieg in London, married a USAF American, then travelled the world with her family for 27 years
- Emma Gomez (1934 – Present)
Respected teacher and mother who works to improve the quality of life of families and working people
- Katarina Ferencovic Horvat Mrezar (1894 – 1988)
Mother, landlord, saloon proprietor, and first woman licensed as a barber in Indiana
Volunteers/ Aid Workers/Diplomats
- Anna Arredondo Chapman (1946 – Present)
Highest rated Hispanic civilian woman before retiring in 2004 after working for over 32 years from Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas
- Eleanor I. Robbins (1942 – Present)
Leads efforts to mentor Native American children to become scientists and to save our environment
- Myrtle Gansu (1872 – 1958)
Became the longest serving elected official in Long Beach, California (from 1919 to 1951)
- Katy Todd (1987 – Present)
Peace Corps volunteer who taught women in the Togo how to run a community savings program
Women Pioneers / Trail Blazers
- Anna R. Samick (1937-2003)
First woman to serve as a business and education representative in the Aerospace Workers Union (IAMAW)
- Dorothy Arzner (1897 – 1979)
Directed the first “talkie” for Paramount, developed the first boom microphone, was the first woman in the DGA (Director’s Guild of America)
- Elizabeth Anderson Hishon (1944 – 1999)
Trail-blazing attorney whose Supreme Court case forced legal firms to include women as partners
- Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler [Hedy Lamarr] (1913 – 2000)
Movie star and inventor who developed a key technique necessary for wireless communication
- Mary Whitfield Ramerman (1955 – Present)
Developed better health care in Haiti, converted to Catholicism and became a self-ordained priest and established her own parish Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, NY
- Maud Powell (1867 – 1920)
Pioneered the violin recital in North America, gave the American premiere of major concertos by Tchaikovsky
- Small Business Owners/ CEO/Founders
Andrea McDowell John Baptiste (1972 – Present)
CEO of Axum Management Capabilities, whose character and leadership is demonstrated in her successful company and in her innovative fundraising efforts for her community.
- Nicole Levine (1967 – Present)
A single mother who used the most basic grass-roots efforts to become the undisputed gold standard for cleaning and extermination business in the NY Metro Area.
- Deborah Brenner (1966 – Present)
Organized Women of the Vine to bring sustainable grape growers and winemakers into a marketing collaboration under one brand
- Donna Zickefoose (1965 – Present)
Ascended through the ranks of law enforcement, during times when females remained a minority in the field, to become Warden of the largest federal prison in the United States
- Janet E. Petro (1959 – Present)
Deputy Director at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Florida helped the Center begin to transition to the nation’s premier multiuser spaceport.
- Frankie Sue Del Papa (1949 – Present)
Political role model who is the longest serving public servant in Nevada
- Houra Rais (1962 – Present)
Senior engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division works to solve some of the most difficult technical challenges facing today’s war fighters
- Kimberly Stomach (1968 – Present)
At the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division in Keyport manages an annual maintenance budget of over 4 million dollars.
- Verna Fowler
Founding President of the College of the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin
- Mother Frances Warde (1810-1884)
Founded the Sisters of Mercy in America to improve the lives of the poor, uneducated, and others marginalized by society
- Angela Duke Hicks
Served as a missionary in India and Belize, then worked with women and children in Africa suffering from AIDS
- Marilyn Lacey (1948- Present)
Founded Mercy Beyond Borders in 2008 to work with displaced women and children overseas in ways that help them move up from extreme poverty