Since 1987, March has been designated as National Women's History Month, a time to pay tribute to the generations of women who changed the face of society through courage and activism.
Did you know that the origins of Women's History Month actually began in Sonoma County?
The National Women’s History Project, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, was founded in Sonoma County 40 years ago. In the 1970s, although groups like the National Organization of Women (NOW) and ERAmerica were fighting to have the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, the topic of women's history was unknown in the public consciousness and in school curricula.
To address this perceived lack, in 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women initiated the first-ever "Women's History Week" celebration. It was a success, with school programs, speakers, an essay contest, and finally a parade held in downtown Santa Rosa as the week’s finale.
Upon hearing of the success of the Sonoma County program, several prominent women's groups began lobbying for a national celebration—and in 1980, President Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the first-ever "Women's History Week" in early March of that year. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity.
All thanks to the local community support in Sonoma County!
2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote. Organizations across the country are celebrating this historic milestone, including Sonoma County Library and the National Women’s History Alliance. The theme of the month-long celebration is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” honoring women from the original suffrage movement as well as 20th and 21st century women who have continued the struggle to ensure voting rights for all.
Sonoma County Library celebrates National Women's History Month with a variety of events, displays, and resources, such as the ones highlighted below. Help us share in this annual tribute by celebrating and learning about the generations of women who have influenced and enriched our nation and society.
The Sonoma County Library is offering a number of events throughout the county to celebrate women. These events include:
Other events happening around Sonoma County in March include:
- History of Letter Writing a Santa Rosa AAUW event at Tudor Rose, Santa Rosa – 3/12
- Roundtable on Inter-Sectional Feminism at SRJC – 3/14
- Lucy! Fussbudget to Feminist – Charles M. Schulz Museum 3/15/2020 to 3/7/2021
- Rosie the Riveter Rally in Courthouse Square – 3/18
- • Panel Discussion on the 19th Amendment & Equal Rights – Sonoma County Historical Society – 3/29
Books and materials
- New books and materials in Sonoma County Library collections
- Streaming educational content through Kanopy