The first International Women’s Day was March 8, 1911. In 1981, Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) cosponsored a Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week. In 1986, the National Women’s History Project (founded in 1979 by Molly MacGregor) helped expand the celebration to the entire month of March. In 1987 and subsequent years, the National Women’s History Month Resolutions have been approved with broad-based, bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, and signed by the President.
Today, schools and communities celebrate the month with special curriculum and events, and many states and cities have extended the observance year-round by creating Women’s Halls of Fame.
For women’s history calendar events, a quiz, links, and facts about the last 25 years of the women’s movement, see our special section on Women’s History Month 1997.