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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

MARCH - Women's History Month

                                                          by Judy Ann Davis

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history.

Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California.

One of Ours
In 1978, The California Education Task Force of the Sonoma County     Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day, and the movement spread across the country to other communities.

In 1980, the National Women’s History Project, a consortium of women’s groups  and historians, which is now the National Women's History Alliance, lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as “Women’s History Month.”

The month-long event was created to shine the spotlight on the many women who have selflessly given of themselves to improve the lives of their families, communities, and the world-at-large in all areas.

Obviously, women writers of yesteryear come to mind who have led the way for female writers today. There are many who came before us. Six of my favorite writers both novelists and poets are: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Willa Cather, One of Ours; Alice Munro, Dear Life; Louisa May Alcott, Little Women; Emily Dickinson, Hope is the Thing with Feathers; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee?

I have a copy of  How Do I Love Thee on my living room wall. It was artfully crafted, starting outward in a circle and spiraling round and round, ending in the center. It is still my very favorite of all poems.

          How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Who do you think has helped shape women writers of today? Who do you admire? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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Judy Ann Davis


1 comment:

  1. Alcott and Austen always have my heart, but others who shaped my reading and writing are L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gene Stratton Porter, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher. To name a few. The list tends to grow, doesn't it?


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