Women's History Month

Overview

Since March 1987, Women’s History Month has been an annual celebration of the impact of women on United States history. Women’s History Month originated in 1978 as a weeklong series of events in the Sonoma (California) School District. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation marking the week of March 8–14 as the first National Women’s History Week. Six years later, Congress expanded this period of time to a month. Now every March, thirty-five years after that first national Women’s History Month, we take the opportunity to celebrate the lives of women from all areas and identities that are a part of the fabric of United States society and history.

Historian Gerda Lerner once wrote that “Women’s history is women’s right—an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.” Understanding the context and significance of women’s stories and accomplishments, as well as the long history of women’s activism and the fight for universal rights, is central to the education of all Americans. We invite you to explore the resources below to learn more about women’s history, women who made and are making history, and the long struggle for gender equity.

National Women’s History Museum, Women's History Month Resource Toolkit

The Women's History Month Resource Toolkit is a March calendar filled with links to biographies, events, and programming to celebrate this important month.

U.S. Government, Women’s History Month 

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

Smithsonian, Because of Her Story

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative is an ambitious undertaking to research, collect, document, display and share the compelling story of women. Because of Her Story explores stories and artifacts from women who have shaped America as we know it through their work, creativity, and resolve; read about the latest scholarship in women’s history; and join online and in-person events that tell women's stories and honor their achievements in art, history, science, business, and culture. 

New-York Historical Society, Women and the American Story

Women and the American Story (WAMS) is a free curriculum website from the New-York Historical Society offering educational resources that illuminate diverse women’s contributions to the American past. 

Reading Material

NYCDOE School Library System, Feminism is For Everybody collection

The NYCDOE School Library System, Feminism is For Everybody collection is a collection of 309 eBooks and 87 audiobooks highlighting contemporary and consequential topics on Feminism and Women's History. The collection is available to all NYC Public School students and teachers by logging into the Citywide Digital Library on the Sora app with their NYC DOE credentials.

New York Public Library (NYPL), Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, each March, NYPL librarians present a month-long series of posts highlighting the many amazing women they've discovered through NYPL’s print and online resources. 

Stories of Women of Color in STEM

Download a free PDF book for grades 7–8, Stories of Women of Color in STEM, featuring biographies of trailblazing women who made history through their scientific discoveries and innovation. From pharmacologist and Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou to mathematician Gladys West, learn how women have defied gender and racial stereotypes and overcome structural barriers to advance science, technology, engineering, and math industries.

NYCDOE Social Studies and Civics for All, Recognized

Download a free PDF for grads 9–12 of the LGBTQ+ History comic book Recognized with the story “In Love and Resistance,” about trans activist Sylvia Rivera.

Video and Audio Resources

WNET, American Masters: Unladylike

Unladylike illuminates the stories of extraordinary American heroines from the early years of feminism, Unladylike2020 is a multimedia series consisting of a one-hour special (Unladylike2020: The Changemakers) and 26 digital short films featuring courageous, little-known and diverse female trailblazers from the turn of the 20th century. 

TEDTalks, Revolutionary Women!

Revolutionary Women! is a collection of 9 videos of TED Talk speeches from history-making women fighting for justice and equality.

Women’s History Museum, Women’s History Minute

Women’s History Minute is an informational 1-minute video series developed by the Women’s History Museum providing bite-sized primers on important figures and movements of women’s history, such as Ida B. Wells, Grace Hopper, Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, and more.

Women’s History Museum, Their Own Words

Listen to the stories of incredible women in American history in Their Own Words with these oral histories of civil rights activist Mrs. Willie Pearl Mackey King and the real-life “Rosie the Riveters” of World War II.

Events, Exhibitions, and Other Learning Resources

Women’s History Museum, First But Not Last – Women Who Ran for President

The First But Not Last – Women Who Ran for President exhibit highlights the women in our nation’s history who took on the challenge of advancing society’s progress towards an inclusive vision of the American presidency. Though these women were the first to announce, the first to campaign, the first to raise money, or the first to win a primary, they will not be the last. 

National Museum of American History, Girlhood, It’s Complicated

Girlhood, It’s Complicated commemorates the anniversary of woman suffrage by exploring the concept of girlhood in the United States, but also how girls changed history in five areas: politics, education, work, health, and fashion. This exhibit argues that girlhood has an unexpected and complicated history, and that girls, like suffragists, used their voices to make a difference.

Explore this exhibit via a self-guided interactive online tour.

Women’s History Museum

Dive in to these extensive collections of virtual exhibits, articles, and biographies from the Women’s History Museum exploring the stories and legacy of trailblazing women, past and present.