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Photo courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room. Photo of a Women's Suffrage parade float that appeared in a November 1914 issue of the Charlotte Observer.

The origins of Women's History Month

February 7, 2020

Celebration of women’s contributions to and successes in American history was first observed in Sonoma, California’s school district in 1978. The celebration consisted of  week-long festivities that included a parade and a “Real Woman” essay contest that recognized women’s achievements in culture, history and society.  

By 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the first week of March as National Women’s History Week. The following year, the U.S. Congress established National Women’s Week as a national celebration. In 1987, the National Women's History Project petitioned for a month-long celebration, which the organization was successfully granted. 

International Women’s Day has been observed since 1911 and sponsored by the United Nations since 1975. 

View scan of "Story of That Suffrage Float" article from the November 1, 1914 Charlotte Observer

View "Some of N.C.'s First Women to Vote Look Back" article from the August 20, 1995 Charlotte Observer

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Citations:

“Women’s History Month.” History.com. Accessed February 2020. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/womens-history-month