In 1978, in Santa Rosa, Calif., more than 100 women came together and entered classrooms of schools and local communities to give presentations on the topic of women’s history. An essay competition and a parade were held. The event was the first informal celebration of women and the contributions they’ve made in world history.
Building on its success, a movement grew that culminated in February 1981, when President Jimmy Carter designated the week of March 8, (International Women’s Day), as National Women’s History Week. Within six years, 14 states had declared the month of March as Women’s History Month. The next year, the U.S. Congress officially designated the observance.
Throughout March, in the Baltimore area, there are many opportunities to celebrate the importance of women in the history of humanity. Special events and opportunities to get involved are available for both women and men of all ages. This year’s theme is Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
University Of Maryland
SMC Campus Center
621 W. Lombard Street
Baltimore, Md. 21201
In honor of Women’s History Month, the University of Maryland is sponsoring three March events. On Monday, March 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in Ballroom A, RAD Self-Defense Training will provide women with a hands-on basic self-defense course that emphasizes and enhances competence and self-discipline, while increasing a woman’s awareness of self-defense techniques.
The Vagina Monologues will be performed Friday, March 8, 7-8:30 p.m. in the SMC CC Ballrooms. The 90-minute performance highlights the stories of many different women. Donations will be accepted in lieu of admission and donated to a charity that addresses issues important to women. Thursday, March 28, noon- 2 p.m. at the SMC CC 2nd floor Pre-function Space, a Women’s Health Fair is scheduled to provide women’s health services with community partners with the UMB.
Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, Md. 21201
The Enoch Pratt Free Library and its branches are celebrating Women’s History Month with a number of exhibits.On Wednesday, March 20 at 5 p.m., a Portrait of an Artist: Louise Nevelson in Process will highlight the sculpture of the critically acclaimed artist. Remarkably, Nevelson was in her 70s before her work attracted the attention of critics. Known for using trash from New York streets, she fashioned her unique environmental art. Nevelson will create two new sculptures on camera.
Mary Cassatt is the focus of an exhibit at the Reisterstown Road Branch on Wednesday, March 27, 5 p.m. It is the first program honoring Cassatt that relates the story of her years in Paris, her relationship with Dégas and the influence of being a member of a prominent Philadelphia family. The presentation includes footage and stills of Cassatt and her work.
B&O Railroad Museum
901 W. Pratt Street
Baltimore, Md. 21223
AMTRAK is teaming up with the B&O Railroad Museum to celebrate the contribution women have made in the railroading industry and specifically to the B &O Railroad. The celebration runs the entire month of March. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday; and 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sunday. On Saturday, March 2 at noon, Kathleen Waters Sander, author of Mary Elizabeth Garrett: Society and Philanthropy in the Gilded Age and The Business of Charity: The Woman’s Exchange Movement, 1832-1900, is the featured speaker. The program focuses on Garrett, a forgotten pioneer of women’s rights and one of the most influential philanthropists of her time, who just happened to be the daughter of B&O Railroad president, John Work Garrett. Other speakers will discuss the roles women as telegraphers, station agents and signalers with the railroad industry. Another program introduces Olive Dennis, the first woman civil engineer for the B&O. For a complete schedule, check their website.
Girl Scouts Of Maryland
4806 Seton Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21215
What better way to celebrate Women’s History Month in March than by volunteering with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. The central Maryland organization founded in 1962 serves more than 30,000 girls, who are members of 2,053 troops in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Hartford, Howard and Carroll counties. Juliette Gordon Low founded the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., and it continues to help girls build courage, character and confidence that they will carry with them throughout their entire lives. The organization serves girls regardless of socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, ability or other life circumstances.
National Association of Women Business Owners Baltimore Region
2400 Boston Street
Baltimore, Md. 21224
Women in business is the primary mission of the Baltimore Regional Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, not only during Women’s History Month, but throughout the year. The organization assists women entrepreneurs in the economic, political and social circles of power worldwide. It provides advocacy, mentoring, assistance, resources and other support to women business owners.
Businesswomen of all ages are welcome. On March 12, 5-7:30 p.m., a corporate partner appreciation behind the scenes tour of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, with Olive Waxter, director of Hippodrome Foundation and an Optional Performance of LOOPED starring Valerie Harper will be held. The optional performance is scheduled for 8 p.m.