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Women’s History Month, celebrated annually in March, is an opportunity to recognize women’s achievements and contributions to our nation’s history and culture. The origin of the observance can be traced to 1978, when the Sonoma County California Task Force on the Status of Women organized a celebration of Women’s History Week, designed to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8th), observed worldwide since 1914. Within a few years, many schools and communities were celebrating National Women’s History Week, supported by resolutions from school boards, city councils, governors, and the U.S. Congress. In 1987, Congress passed a law designating the first Women’s History Month. Today, Women’s History Month is the occasion for events and observances across the country to honor the significant achievements of women throughout history.
Women in the United States struggled for more than a century to obtain the right to vote. In 1920, the suffrage movement finally achieved victory with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. A biography of social activist, abolitionist, and women’s suffrage pioneer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is provided in this selection from Defining Moments: Women’s Suffrage.
Additional information about the events leading up to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, along with biographies of other key figures and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: Women’s Suffrage.