"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.” " http://womenshistorymonth.gov/index.html
From the Law Library of Congress' guide to the legislative history of Women's History Month.
Womens History Month Slide Show: http://www.historypin.com/collections/slideshow/id/8691041/
"The equal opportunity to learn, taken for granted by most young women today, owes much to Title IX of the Education Codes of the Higher Education Act Amendments. This legislation, passed in 1972 and enacted in 1977, prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions. It has become the primary tool for women's fuller participation in all aspects of education from scholarships, to facilities, to classes formerly closed to women. Indeed, it transformed the educational landscape of the United States within the span of a generation." http://www.nwhp.org/whm/index.php
There is another bit of local history involving a local lady which I would like to tell you about. A lady and adventurer who died doing what she loved - FLYING. Although I never had the privilege of meeting Ms. Sharon Johnston, I feel like I know her through the spirit of her brothers and sister. "Sharon Johnston Park is a 250 acre park located in New Market, Al, in the northeast corner of Madison County. The Madison County Commission along with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources entered into an agreement to dedicate Sharon Johnston Memorial Park on June 4, 1979. Sharon Johnston's family gave the park to the community in her name after her death, because it was a place she loved dearly, where her father had built a lake, worked to conserve wildlife, and had taught his children about the wonders of nature. Sharon was an aerobatics pilot, and died in a crash at the age of 31 while performing before 250,000 people at the South Weymouth (MA) Naval Air Station in 1974." I post the video below in memory of "Shannon" for Gretel.
I leave you with this notation from Emma Willard, in her 1819 Plan for Improving Female Education, noted with derision the focus of women's "education" on fostering the display of youth and beauty, and asserted that women are "the companions, not the satellites of men"--"primary existences" whose education must prepare them to be full partners in life's journey.