This Month in History – Women’s History Month, March 8

March is Women’s History Month.  Why March, you might ask?

The answer to that question is linked to efforts of early 20th century socialists and pro-labor advocates who agitated for women’s suffrage and women’s rights.

In 1909, the U.S. Socialist Party held a National Women’s Day to honor women garment workers’ struggles for better working conditions for women.  And in 1911, International Women’s Day was held in a number of European countries to promote women’s rights and call for universal suffrage.   By 1914, these two events coalesced.  By the outbreak of World War I, March 8 became International Women’s Day.  It remains so today.

That March 8th date also influenced the timing of the first Women’s History Week which took place in California in 1978 and went national within two years.

In the 1970s, women’s history became a more accepted field of study, and feminists and scholars worked to recognize women’s contributions to society.  The Women’s History Week organizers included International Women’s Day in the week.  In 1987, the week was extended and what we now know as Women’s History Month came into being.

Cape Fear Museum’s collection includes all sorts of objects that provide evidence about women’s lives in the Lower Cape Fear.

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Previous Columns

February: A February Fundraiser, 2008
January 2019: 
Voting for Liquor by the Drink, January 12, 1979
December: 
A Day’s News, December 12, 1936
November:
November 10, 1898
October: 
Halloween, October 31
September:
Getting a Car Fixed: September 3, 1929
August:
“Two Hundred Years of Light by the Light”: August 5, 1989
July: 
Tommies Parading in Wilmington: July 17, 1943
June:
Williston is Closed: June 26, 1968
May: May 13, 1919: Traveling Home from War
April: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated: April 4, 1968
March: Sending Victory Mail Home
February:  Human Relations Month
January 2018:
Galloway’s Sick Note
December:
A Ship is Launched
November:
Election Day and a Parade
October:
Developing the story
September:
A soldier/artist sketches a famous dancer
August:
Urban Renewal Takes Off
July:
Launching Concrete River Vessel No. 5
June:
Wilmington Meets Los Angeles
May:
Bellamy Sails to France
March:
World TB Day
February: David Walker is Honored with a Marker
January 2017:
Two Brothers Honored on One Memorial Stone


Artist Minnie Evans
1983.043.0001
Gift of Margaret M. Williams

Student nurses
2001.137.0155
Gift of Elizabeth Ashworth Horne
814 Market Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-4370 • Fax 910-798-4382