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Celebrating 35 Years of Women’s History Month

  When the founding fathers of the Constitution wrote the words, We the People, they never envisioned that the We would include as many people as it does today -- both sexes, all ages, all colors, all abilities. Over the years, different Congresses have expanded the circle. Just take the issue of voting and how it has grown from white men with property to all men and women age eighteen and older. As that change is taught, are students introduced to women leaders such as Lucy Stone, Alice Paul, Ella Baker, or Fannie Lou Hamer? What activities/strategies such as the right to petition, the right to assembly through peaceful protest, marches, or voting illegally, did those women use to overcome the barriers to voting?

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   In 1980, the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) was founded by Molly Murphy MacGregor, Mary Ruthsdotter, Maria Cuevas, Paula Hammett and Bette Morgan to broadcast women’s historical achievements. The NWHP started by leading a coalition that successfully lobbied Congress to designate March as National Women’s History Month, now celebrated across the land. Consequently President Jimmy Carter declared March 2-8, 1980 as the first National Women’s History Week. In this proclamation he not only urged the nation to recognize and celebrate women’s historic achievements, but he also encouraged the nation to ratify the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.

   Like the nation, the U.S. Postal Service was slow to recognize the contributions of women. It was 55 years after the first stamp release until an American woman, Martha Washington, was recognized in her own right. Since 1902, over one hundred and twenty-six individual women have been honored. For the complete list go to

   The following is a statement from the NWHP, but it could just as well apply to the USPS.
We are retelling history. And changing the future. We believe that knowing women’s history gives all of us—female and male—the power and inspiration to succeed. We believe that Our History Is Our Strength.

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