Women’s History Honored in March: Women of History and the Modern Day Celebrated Around the World and at SMSU


Katie Stromme

A poster for some of the Women's History Month events on campus.

Kim Watkins, News Editor

Women’s History Month has been celebrated for years by people across the United States and the world who remember and appreciate the many women and historical events that have changed the world’s perceptions and lives of women to come.

Women’s History Month started as an International Women’s Day back in 1911. This day turned into a week when popularity grew from celebrating a woman’s week in 1981, causing Congress to pass a public law proclaiming the week of Mar. 7-Mar. 13 of 1982 as Woman’s History Week. The week changed to a month after a petition from the National Women’s History Project, leading Congress to proclaim March 1987 as Women’s History Month.

Since then, each president has proclaimed the month of March as Women’s History Month. Women of the U.S. and around the world are celebrated for their accomplishments and contributions to historical events that have changed the lives of everyone.

The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

This month is not only celebrated in the U.S., but also in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada (Canada celebrated their Women’s History Month in October).

Southwest Minnesota State University is joining in with the celebration with a poetry reading, which will be held Mar. 20 in Charter Hall 201 from 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Poetry will include selections from Beth Ann Fennelly and Catherine Chandler. Readers will include Elizabeth Blair, Pat Brace, Maria Kingsbury, Brittney Heimermann, Sharron Hope, Jan Loft, Susan McLean, Hilary Rasmussen, Maureen Sander-Staudt and Marianne Zarzana.

Other events include the Images of Women art exhibit, featuring student artwork, which will be on display in the SMSU Women’s Center (Student Center 239) on Mar. 25 at 3:30 p.m.

Also featured will be the winners of the Telling Women’s Stories Contest, who will read their works at 4 p.m. Readers include first place winner Jessica Rockeman (Nonfiction – “Hector at Sixteen”), second place winner Samantha Lemmerman (Fiction – “Heart Surgery” and Poetry – “Whiskey on the Rocks”) and third place winner Rebecca Cook (Essay – “Chick in a Chair”).

These events are free and open to the public and are sponsored by the SMSU Women’s Studies Committee.