In honor of the start of Women’s History Month, here’s a look back at its origins. The United States, United Kingdom and Australia all celebrate women during the month of March. The reason for this is a single day: International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. The United Nations officially recognized the day in 1977, though it had been observed since 1911.
Local groups and municipalities also began celebrating National Women’s Week in the 1970s. After gaining enough traction, the first official National Women’s Week was declared by President Jimmy Carter beginning on March 8, 1980. According to the National Women’s History alliance, states began declaring the entire month Women’s History Month before a national push came in 1986. Congress declared the first official Women’s History Month in March 1987.