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Women’s History Month

March 5th, 2012
Margaret · Staff Recommendations

The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. The week included March 8th, which was called “International Women’s Day”. In 1981, a Congressional resolution proclaimed a national Women’s History Week and in 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month.

Not only have the number of books written about famous women increased but the schools across the United States celebrate Women’s History Month each year. Today almost every college offers women’s history courses and most major graduate programs offer doctoral degrees in the field.

In 1996 the National Women’s History Museum, which researches, collects and exhibits the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our nation in a context of world history, was founded in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Harrison Library has an extensive selection of books about famous women in America: from First Ladies, Abigail Adams, and Eleanor Roosevelt; first women in the air, Amelia Earhart, and Sally Ride; and women who contributed to the civil rights movements, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.

Books for Adults:

Abigail Adams : a Life, by Woody Holton.Using material from a host of archives Holton shows that the wife of the second president was far more charismatic and influential than historians have realized. One of the finest writers of her age, Adams passionately campaigned for women’s education, denounced sex discrimination, and matched wits not only with her brilliant husband, John, but with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Courage in a Dangerous World : the political writings of Eleanor Roosevelt, by Eleanor Roosevelt.Noted Eleanor Roosevelt scholar Allida M. Black has gathered more than two hundred columns, articles, essays, and speeches from Eleanor Roosevelt’s archives, to show Eleanor’s life in her own words and deeds.

The Sound of Wings : the Biography of Amelia Earhart, by Mary Lovell.This book of aviation legend Amelia Earhart describes her life–from her tomboy childhood and early fascination with flying, her peculiar business/matrimonial realtionship with publisher G.P. Putnam to her consuming quest for avaiation fame. Amelia lived here in Harrison with her husband.

Harriet Tubman the Road to Freedom, by Catherine Clinton.We all know of Harriet Tubman’s heroic escape and resistance to slavery, but few readers are aware that Tubman went on to be a scout, a spy, and a nurse for the Union Army.

Rosa Parks, by Douglas Brinkley.Rosa Parks was given the Congress’s highest honor-the Congressional Gold Medal-in 1999. She was called “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” because she refused to give up her city bus seat to a white man and was arrested for violating racial segregation laws.

Books for Students

Abigail Adams : Courageous Patriot and First Lady, by Barbara A. Somervill.Biography of Abigail Adams, who used her influence with her husband, John Adams, second president of the United States, to affect the laws of the new nation.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Life of Discovery, by Russell Freedman.The intriguing story of Eleanor Roosevelt traces the life of the former First Lady from her early childhood through the tumultuous years in the White House to her active role in the founding of the United Nations after World War II.

Our Eleanor : a Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt’s Remarkable Life, by Candance Fleming.Shows how Eleanor Roosevelt has not affected lives of Americans – from securing safe, low-cost housing for Kentucky’s poor to representing America as the first female delegate to the United Nations.

Amelia Lost : The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, by Candance Fleming.With incredible photos, maps, and handwritten notes from Amelia herself, this book is made for middle graders to learn the thrilling story of America’s most celebrated flyer, Amelia Earhart.

Harriet Tubman Conductor on the Underground Railroad, by Ann Petry.Born a slave, Harriet Tubman dreamed of freedom.After making her escape, Harriet realized that her own freedom was not enough. So she became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and devoted her life to helping others make the journey out of bondage.

A Picture Book of Rosa Parks, by David Adler.Adler presents a visual biography of the woman who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus and helped establish the civil rights movement.

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