Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8, and during October in Canada, corresponding with the celebration of Persons Day on October 18.

In the United States, Women’s History Month traces its beginnings back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911. In 1978, the school district of Sonoma, California participated in Women’s History Week, an event designed around the week of March 8 (International Women’s Day). In 1979 a fifteen-day conference about women’s history was held at Sarah Lawrence College from July 13 until July 29, chaired by historian Gerda Lerner. It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the Women’s Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution. When its participants learned about the success of the Sonoma County’s Women’s History Week celebration, they decided to initiate similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts. They also agreed to support an effort to secure a National Women’s History Week.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Outraged protesters on Pittsburgh, PA’s Andy Warhol Bridge. A woman points to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the heavily fortified facility where leaders of the twenty richest countries (G20) were meeting in September of 2009. Photo: Langelle

The 2009 G20 Pittsburgh Summit was the third meeting of the G20 heads of state to discuss the global financial crisis and the world economy. The summit was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 24 – 25 September 2009. Protesters from around the country converged on the city to denounce corporate globalization and the G20.

The Summit was classified as a National Special Security Event. Thousands of police were backed up by Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters, armored Humvees and crews of US Army soldiers, as well as ten 25-foot boats with M240 machine guns from the Coast Guard.