National Women's History Month's roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women's Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn't until 1981 that Congress established National Women's History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month.
from the National Archives - Suffragists faced a difficult road in their march towards equality. Even women opposed giving women the right to vote. One letter calls it "an endorsement of nagging as a national policy."
March 3, 2013 marks 100 years since suffragists marched on Washington. In honor of this event, the 19th Amendment is on display in the U.S. National Archives from March 1- 9, 2013.
Photo from the National Archives. For more photos, have a look at the Archive's Pinterest board.
1853: UCC appoints first woman pastor, Antoinette Brown
Antoinette Brown is the firstwoman since New Testament times ordained as a Christian minister, and perhaps the first woman in history elected to serve a Christian congregation as pastor. At her ordination a friend, Methodist minister Luther Lee, defends "a woman's right to preach the Gospel." He quotes the New Testament: "There is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
For much more general information on Women's History Month, visit women'shistorymonth.gov
To sign up for the UCC's daily reflections, prayers and devotionals that honor women, click here.
To read "Women's Work and Women's Boards", an historical article by the UCC, click here.
To read "The Deaconess Movement in 19th Century America - Pioneer Professional Women," click here.
To access the "women's page" on the UCC website, click here.