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Celebrating Women's History Month

Celebrating Womens History Month

Women have played a vital role in the foundation and formation of the United States, ever since Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley replaced her husband when he collapsed at his cannon during the American Revolutionary War.

Each March women are celebrated during Women's History Month - a month-long tribune dedicated to honoring the history, contributions and sacrifices made by women.

Women have played key roles in enhancing and enriching the lives of women, including campaigning to get women the right to vote, custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce laws, birth control and the right to an education. The 2012 theme for Women's History Month is Women's Education - Women's Empowerment.

In 1841, Mary Hosford, Elizabeth Smith Prall and Mary Caroline Rudd were the first females to earn a bachelor’s degree (Oberlin College).

Today there are 11.3 million female college students enrolled in colleges (fall 2010), and 29.6% of women 25 and older hold at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2010, according to Census.gov.



Snapshots in History

Elizabeth Blackwell

Ada Kepley

Ellen Swallow Richards

Frances Willard

In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S., from the Geneva Medical College in New York.

In 1870, Ada Kepley became the first American woman to graduate from law school, from Union College of Law now Northwestern. She was denied a license to practice law and didn’t become a lawyer until the Illinois law barring women from practicing law was overturned (1881).

Ellen Swallow Richards was the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was also its first female instructor, the first woman in America accepted to any school of science and technology, and the first American woman to earn a degree in chemistry (1873).

In 1871, Frances Willard became the first female college president in the U.S. at Evanston College for Ladies in Illinois. She was also instrumental in the passage of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) and the 19th Amendment (Women Suffrage) to the U.S. Constitution.

 

Elizabeth Blackwell

Ada Kepley

Ellen Swallow Richards

Frances Willard

 



American museums devoted to women’s history

Stories about courageous women in American history continue to live on through exhibits, seminars and interactive displays at these museums dedicated to embracing, showcasing and honoring the spirit of the American women. Be sure to visit these American museums during your next visit to these hometowns:

U.S. Army Women's Museum, Fort Lee, Virginia
Dedicated to preserving the history of women who served in the Army – from the Revolutionary War through today.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, Texas
Honors cowgirls and other heroines of the American West.

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
Focuses on the achievements of women artists.

Women of the West Museum, Denver, Colorado
Dedicated to the history of women of all cultures in the American West.

International Women's Air and Space Museum, Cleveland, Ohio
Honors the history of women who took flight in our atmosphere and beyond.

The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future, Dallas, Texas
Uses technology and interactive media to chronicle women’s role in shaping U.S. history.



Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done.

- Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer and author

 



For the kids!

Download a Women's History Word Search Puzzle

Your kids will enjoy solving this Word Search puzzle, designed specifically in honor of Women’s History Month. What a great way to teach your kids about the importance that Women had in shaping in the United States. Fun for the entire family!

>> Women's History Month word search (PDF)

>> Women's History Month word search answer key (PDF)

 

Take the Women's History Quiz

Who was the woman  who sparked the Civil Rights Movement in 1955? Who wrote the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, and when was the Amendment first introduced into Congress? These questions and more are a part of the Women's History Quiz. So test your knowledge and see if your answers measure up.

>> Test your knowledge of Women's History with this online quiz

 

Women on Postage Stamps

Did you know that the first women pictured on a U.S. Postage stamp was  in 1893? Learn what  women have been honored for their contributions by being pictured on U.S. postage stamps.

>> Women left their "stamps" on history



Women in the U.S. Army

From the American Revolutionary War to the present day Global War on Terrorism, women have played an essential part of the U.S. Army. Women serve in 91 percent of all Army occupations. They make up about 14 percent of the active Army and 13.3 percent of the Army National Guard.

To learn more, visit Women in the U.S. Army.



Just the Facts

Population

157.0 million  -  The number of females in the U.S. as of Oct. 2010. (There were 151.8 million males)

Earnings

$36,931 - The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time, in 2010, unchanged from 2009. 

Jobs

59.6% - Percent of females 16 and older who participated in the labor force, representing about 71.9 million women in 2010.

Military

205,500 - Total number of active-duty women in the military as of Sept. 30, 2010. Of that total, 38,700 women were officers, and 166,800 were enlisted.

Marriage

64.9 million - Number of married women 18 and older.

5 million - Number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2010.

Source: www.Census.gov