Important Dates in Women's History
by Susan G. Butruille
March is Women's History Month!
March 1 Matronalia, Roman celebration of women and celebration of
Juno-Lucina, protector of women and the family. Temple fires welcomed the coming of spring.
March 1, 1978 Women’s History Week first observed in Sonoma County, California.
March 1, 1987 Congress designates March as Women’s History Month.
March 1, 1864 Rebecca Lee of Boston, MA became the first African
American woman to earn a medical degree.
March 2 Roman festival of Vesta, Goddess of purifying fire. Vestal virgins were independent women who were priestesses of Vesta. The
ancient meaning of “virgin” was “one within,” signifying an independent
March 3 Hina Matsuri, Japanese Doll Festival, dedicated to the three Munakata goddesses, daughters of Amaterasu, the Sun.
March 4 Mothering Day (England), the original Mother’s Day. It was the custom to visit one’s mother on this day and present her with bread and presents.
March 4, 1917 Peace activist and suffragist Jeanette Rankin became the first woman elected to the US House of Representatives.
March 7, 1870 Wyoming women allowed on juries; the right later was taken away until the 1950s, when women once again were admitted to serve.
March 8, 1908 First International Women's Day, founded by German labor activist Clara Zetkin.
March 10 Hypatia’s Day, honoring the scholar of the University of Alexandria. A pagan, Hypatia was murdered by a mob of monks because she was a woman who taught men.
March 10, 1913 Death of Harriet Tubman, Underground Railroad conductor who rescued more than 300 of her people from slavery.
March 12, 1993 Janet Reno became the first woman US Attorney General.
March 13, 1986 Susan Butcher wins the first of 3 straight and 4 total Iditarod dog sled races in Alaska.
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day.
March 20, 1852 Publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best-selling novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
March 20, 1925 Birth of Romana Banuelos, first Mexican American woman to serve as US Treasurer.
March 20 Spring Equinox. Spring festivals celebrate the ancient Greek story of the reunion of Kore, daughter of the Earth, and her mother, Demeter, assuring the return of spring.
March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. Nearly 146 workers died, mostly immigrant women. Many were trapped because of locked exits.
March 28 Feast of the Passover (Jewish).
March 28 Palm Sunday.
March 30 Feast of Eostra, German Goddess of rebirth and fertility. This festival inspired the Christian Easter.
March 31, 1776 Abigail Adams wrote her famous "Remember the ladies" letter to her husband, John, urging him to include women as he helped construct the US Constitution. He didn't.