March is Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month was established by Congress in 1987 to pay tribute to the generations of women whose “commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.” (from www.womenshistorymonth.gov)
Some Landmarks in U.S. Women’s History:
1848: The first Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott (among others) were in attendance. The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, calling for equal treatment of women and men under the law as well as voting rights for women was signed at this convention.
1872: Susan B. Anthony cast her vote to test whether the 14th Amendment would be interpreted broadly to guarantee women the right to vote. She was arrested and tried in June 1873; and convicted of unlawful voting.
1920: Women were finally granted the right to vote, 72 years after the Seneca Falls Convention. The 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was ratified.
1923: The First Equal Rights Amendment was introduced. It states: “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.” The ERA was sent to the states for ratification in 1972 with a 7-year deadline. It quickly won 22 of the necessary 38 ratifications, but the pace slowed and even with the extension granted by Congress until June 1982, if fell short of votes. The Amendment was reintroduced in July of 1982 and has been introduced before every session of Congress ever since.
1932: Amelia Earhart made the first transcontinental nonstop flight by a woman
1933: Frances Perkins was sworn in as Secretary of Labor, and the first woman in the U.S. cabinet.
1934: Babe Didrikson pitched a full inning for the Philadelphia Athletics (vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers).
1941-1945: Millions of women entered the work force during World War II.
1963: The Equal Pay Act became a federal law, having been proposed 20 years earlier. The law states that employers must pay everyone equally for performing the same job duties regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
1965: The Supreme Court Issued a landmark ruling legalizing the use of contraceptives for married couples. The ruling was extended to include single women in 1972.
1972: Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments. The law requires that schools receiving federal funds provide equal access to educational programs for men and women. Title IX is credited with the growth of sports for women and girls at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.
1973: Supreme Court established abortion rights in Roe v. Wade. Women were granted the legal choice of whether or not to continue with their pregnancy.
1973: Women-only branches in the U.S. Military were eliminated, integrating women into all branches of the U. S. military.
1978: Employment discrimination against pregnant women was banned. The Act ensures that employment discrimination on account of pregnancy is treated as unlawful sex-based discrimination.
1981: Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman seated on the United States Supreme Court.
1983: Sally Ride became the first American woman astronaut to travel into space.
1984: Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman to run for Vice President of the United States on a major party ticket.
1993: Janet Reno became the first woman to hold the office of Attorney General of the United States.
1997: Madeleine Albright was sworn in as the first female Secretary of State.
2009: President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; this law changed the Civil Right Act of 1964 which said that discrimination complaints must be brought within 180 days of the discriminatory act; expanding workers’ rights to sue for pay discrimination.
The Islip Library has many books and some movies about women’s rights and achievements. We have biographies about amazing women of today and women in history for all age readers. You may enjoy watching Suffragette, a 2015 movie in our DVD collection, starring Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan to get a sense of what American women endured in order to claim their right to vote. Come into the Library to check out our March display of Library materials about Women’s History!
For some great fiction about women's interior lives try these titles:
- My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
- The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey by Rachel Joyce
- We are not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
- A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
- Someone by Alice McDermott