March Madness (or How to Celebrate Women’s History Month)

March can be such a middling month—after all, it’s still cold, still winter, still blah—you know, March in the Mitten state. What if March didn’t have to be this way? What if March could be just as awesome as December, but with less tree needles on the carpet? We are here to tell you that not only can March be awesome, in reality, it already is. We bring you March Madness— Women’s History style. 

Yes, we know that usually March Madness is reserved for that sport with the orange ball, nets, and rather tall ladies and gents running around a wood floor in squeaky shoes representing some school or another. Since 1987, when Public Law 100-9 was passed (yes fans, it took that long) that designated March as Women’s History Month, March has taken on new meaning past just basketball. 

Women’s History Month actually started out as Women’s History Week back in 1978 in California, first celebrated by The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County California Commission on the Status of Women (according to the Women’s History website— check it out, very informational). Over time, it grew and grew to the Women’s History Month we know and love today.

Each year we get the chance to celebrate the accomplishments of women from around the world from the present to the past during the month of March. There are so many women to talk about, it would be impossible, thankfully, to name them all.  However, if you are setting up your brackets, then here are some great ladies to consider that may be new to you:

  • Lois Curtis: One of the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case Olmsted vs. L.C. (1999) that established the right of people with disabilities to live in the least restrictive settings possible.
  • Corazon Aquino: First female president of the Philippines.
  • Penelope Barker: Organized the Edenton Tea Party, the first recorded women’s political demonstration in America in 1774.
  • Audrey Faye Hendricks: At 9 years old became the youngest known person arrested during the Civil Rights Movement on May 2, 1963.
  • Grace Hopper: Rear Admiral Grace Hopper helped outline the fundamental operating principles of computing machines.
  • Lilian St. Cyr (Red Wing): Performing under the name Princess Red Wing, became the first Native American actress to appear in a silent film on February 23, 1914.

Unlike that other March Madness game that gets so much publicity, there are no losers in our brackets. When you choose to learn about new people or even ladies we have learned about since childhood, you are helping spread the word about history-making accomplishments by women everywhere.