March News 2012

Women's History Month

Women's History Month originally started as Women's History Week. It was first celebrated in Sonoma, California in 1978, honoring women's contributions to culture, history and society along with a parade in downtown Santa Rosa. Two years later, President Jimmy Carter made Women's History Week a nationally recognized even and officially set as the week of March 8. It was not until 1986 that the National Women's History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.

March 8 is also International Women's Day. First started in 1911, this day of recognizing women's global contributions to economic, political, and social institutions, has been sponsored by the United Nations since 1975.


Breaking the Stereotypes

The 2013 Theme for Women's History Month is "Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics." While most people may think women's best inventions are chocolate chip cookies and disposable diapers, there are some little known innovations created by women that are generally associated with men. Below are a few examples of possibly surprising contributions that women gave to the modern world:

  • Circular Saw: Tabitha Babbitt, 1812
  • Life Raft: Maria Beaseley, 1882
  • Medical Syringe: Letitia Geer, 1899
  • Rotary Engine: Margaret Knight, 1904
  • Engine Muffler: El Dorado Jones, 1917
  • Kevlar (a steel-like fiber used in bullet-proof vests: Stephanie Kwolek, 1966


Empowering Quotes by Powerful Women

In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
- Margaret Thatcher, British politician

Never limit yourself because of others' limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.
- Mae Jemison, astronaut

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.
- Susan B. Anthony