March marks the 31st year of National Women’s History Month. Started by the U.S. Congress in 1987, Women’s History Month is when the nation acknowledges and commemorates the many achievements of American women.
Women’s History Month in the United States, however, didn’t just come out of the blue in 1987; the month grew out of a week-long celebration started in Sonoma, California in 1978. Celebrating women’s contributions to American culture, the week-long celebration in 1978 consisted of presentations at schools, parades, and a “Real Woman” essay contest. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th as Women’s History Week.
The month-long celebration not only grew from a week, but it evolved from one single day. Women’s History Day, which started in 1911, also celebrated the achievements and contributions of American women to American culture, economy, and industry. Held annually on March 8th, Women’s History Day influenced and sparked Women’s History Week, which would later turn into Women’s History Month.
From Rosa Parks to Amelia Earhart to Harriet Tubman, there is an endless amount of women who’ve made tremendous accomplishments that have changed history.
Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly a plane across the Atlantic Ocean by herself and proved that women (and men) can do whatever they put their minds to. Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery in Maryland, was considered the most prominent figure in the abolitionist movement and devoted her life to helping other slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. Rosa Parks helped spark the Civil Rights Movement by refusing to give up a bus seat to a white passenger in 1955.
These women are just a handful of the countless women who have had a positive impact on the United States. But who are the most influential and inspirational women for Boys’ Latin students?
Tucker Booth, a senior at Boys’ Latin, stated, “The most influential woman in my life, other than my mother and my aunt, is Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s an actress who starred in “Iron Man”, and she advocates for world peace.”
Blake Shepherd stated that the most influential woman in his life “is Señora Clark because she is kind and caring, and I’m sure that moving to a new country was very hard. I have a lot of respect for her!”
“Oprah, in my opinion, is the most inspirational woman. She started from the bottom and climbed all the way to the top. She has millions of fans, and she is so kind and compassionate,” senior Ned Ruffin exclaimed.
While interviewing some Boys’ Latin students, one would notice that each kid would stop and think hard when asked about Women’s History Month. The first response was invariably their mother, and their next response would be an Aunt.
Mother figures, as most people know, are very protective of their children, and they will almost do anything for the well-being of their children. That’s why the first and inevitable response of every student interviewed was their mother. The children notice their moms coming home late from work, making dinner for the family, and tucking them into bed.
Women’s History Month is a time when the nation celebrates all the amazing and remarkable achievements made by some of the most notable women in the United States, but it is also a time to commemorate all women that inspire you as a person, such as your mother, sister, aunt, teacher, coach, or boss.