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March 2024 Cultural Events

Women’s History Month

Did You Know? Women’s History Month started as Women’s History Week

Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California, when The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in March of 1978 to coincide with International Women’s Day. Two years later, an association of women’s groups and historians led by the National Women’s History Project successfully lobbied for national recognition, and President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8th, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. Subsequent Presidents continued to recognize the week until 1987, when Congress passed a public law designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” Since 1995, every President has issued an annual proclamation designating March as “Women’s History Month.”

Jimmy Carter

The Women’s History Month theme established by the National Women’s History Alliance is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” The theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.

March 1st

Peace Corps1961: President John F. Kennedy signs Executive Order 10924 establishing the Peace Corps for the purpose of promoting international volunteer efforts in developing countries. Since its founding in 1961, over 240,000 Americans have served in over 140 nations to fight hunger, protect the environment, foster democracy and improve access to technology.

1975: Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich, a Vietnam Veteran and a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, revealed his sexual orientation to his commanding officer. He was forcibly discharged from the Air Force six months later. In 1980, the Court of Appeals ruled that the dismissal was improper. Matlovich was awarded his back pay and a retroactive promotion.

March 2nd

1982: Wisconsin is the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Jeannette RankinMarch 4th

1917: Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) took her seat as the first female member of Congress.

1933: Frances Perkins became United States Secretary of Labor, making her the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

March 8th

International Women’s Day began in 1910 to advocate for greater women’s rights, particularly UN-Trust Fund the right to vote. Celebrated annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day offers an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

Different organizations coordinate the themes of International Women’s Day. The United Nations is one of the main organizations that coordinates in this regard. UN Women officially recognized International Women’s Day in 1977. The UN theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is, ““Invest in women: Accelerate progress”.
Under the theme the United Nations Observance of International Women's Day 2024 will focus on 5 key areas:

Investing in women: A human rights issue - Investing in women is a human rights imperative and cornerstone for building inclusive societies. Progress for women benefits us all.

Ending poverty - The COVID pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic turmoil have pushed an extra 75 million people into severe poverty, since 2020. This could lead to more than 342 million women and girls living below the poverty line by 2030, making immediate action crucial.

Implementing gender-responsive financing - Due to conflicts and rising fuel and food prices, recent estimates suggest that 75 percent of countries will curb public spending by 2025. Austerity negatively impacts women and crowds out public spending on essential public services and social protection.

Shifting to a green economy and care society - The current economic system exacerbates poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Advocates for alternative economic models propose a shift towards a green economy and care society that amplifies women’s voices.

Supporting feminist change-makers - Feminist organizations are leading efforts to tackle women’s poverty and inequality. However, they are running on empty, receiving a meager 0.13 percent of total official development assistance.

The IWD 2024 # is Inspire Inclusion which seeks to inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, to make a better world and to specifically inspire women themselves. When women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

March 10th (probably)

Happy Birthday, Harriet Tubman! (1822-1923)

An American abolitionist and political activist, Harriet Tubman was born into slavery as Araminta Ross. Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman became an activist in the movement for women's suffrage.

Little known fact: Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate overseer threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another enslaved person but hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

March 10 - April 9

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims and celebrates the prophet Muhammad's revelation of the Qur'an. During this month, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from sunrise to sunset. This time of fasting and prayer is designed to purify the soul and reconnect with God. Those unable to fast, such as pregnant or nursing women, the sick, or elderly people & children, are exempt. Each year, Ramadan starts approximately 10 to 11 days earlier than the previous year.

March 12th

Janet Reno1993: Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female attorney general of the United States. Nominated by President Bill Clinton, Reno was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on March 11, 1993.

March 17th

1910: Camp Fire Girls was established as the first interracial, non-sectarian American organization for girls.

March 17th

Holi (Hindu)

HoliThis is the Hindu celebration of the winter harvest and the coming of spring. Sometimes referred to as the festival of love, Holi celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is a festive day to socialize, forgive past resentments towards one another and repair broken relationships. One of the most recognizable aspects of Holi is celebrating with vibrant colors, which brings positivity to life.

The Holi celebrations kick off on the evening of Purnima, which is a full moon day and falls in the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna. During the festival, people indulge in exciting activities such as throwing colorful powders and water at each other, dancing, singing, and feasting on delicious traditional delicacies.

March 21st

United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

This day is observed annually on the day police in Sharpeville, South Africa killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid in 1960. While many racist laws and practices have been abolished, many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings. Each year, the UN focuses the day on a different UN initiative to reduce racism.

World Down Syndrome Day

Officially observed by the United Nations since 2012, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day encouraging people across the world to join in advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down Syndrome. The celebration date of March 21st was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down Syndrome.

March 23rd

2018: Trump bans Transgender people from Military Service

In a tragic reversal of a historic step forward for the United States, the Trump administration announces a new policy that bans most transgender people from serving in the military. The malevolent demagogue instructed the Armed Services to begin discharging transgender service members effective April 12. After several court battles, the Supreme Court allows the ban to go into effect in January 2019. The ban remained in effect until January 25, 2021, when it was rescinded by President Joe Biden.

March 31st

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV)

This day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender non-conforming people. It is also focused on bringing awareness to the work that still needs to be done to save trans lives. It has a goal to fight cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community.


Larson, Kate Clifford (2004). Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. New York: Ballantine Books