In 1776, Abigail Adams famously urged her husband, John, to “remember the ladies.” Two centuries later, a national observance was created to do just that.
The first women’s history celebration was a weeklong event that took place in Sonoma County, CA, in 1978, chosen to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8.
The idea spread quickly around the country. By 1980, the National Women’s History Project, a consortium of women’s and history groups, led the charge to create a nationwide observance.
President Jimmy Carter granted their wish that same year, and in 1987, Congress designated all of March as Women’s History Month.
The group pivotal to the founding of the observance, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, chooses a theme each year.
It selected “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” for 2022, in part to honor the ceaseless dedication of caregivers and first responders during the pandemic.
It is also meant to recognize the “thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history,” according to its website.
The Postal Service observes Women’s History Month and has several stamps celebrating women in its 2022 lineup.
These include Edmonia Lewis, a sculptor who graces the recently released Black Heritage stamp; Katharine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post; and marine biologist Eugenie Clark.
In addition, Women’s Rowing recognizes women’s achievements in this demanding water sport; and Title IX celebrates the 50th anniversary of the passage of the civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity receiving federal funds.