The Bugler

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Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. This month is critically important for teaching all people about the great contributions that women have made to our country and will continue to make not only in America but in the world. Last Tuesday was the International Day of Women and its great celebration was also sobered by facts from the UN that worldwide girls still have twice the illiteracy rate as boys and that 70% of the world's hungry are women. One only has to visit a local high school award ceremony or a college campus in the United States and see that women in the United States are taking the next big steps to be the leaders of our country. And no this is not a political discussion. I mean leaders in our businesses, our schools, our communities and our armed forces will increasingly be women.

There are so many activities this month dedicated to teaching us about the roles women have played. One of the most interesting is the website that outlines activities compiled for special exhibits this month by The Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Services and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. For example, the Smithsonian has an ongoing exhibit titled The First Ladies and their contributions. The National Gallery is having an exhibition on Roman and Hellenistic women. There is a great link to the PBS stories of women and Tupperware and how these little plastic bowls allowed women all over America to gain a little financial independence. Learn more at WomensHistoryMonth.gov.

Veterans History Project

In conjunction with Women's History Month, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project has highlighted a series titled, "Experiencing War: Women of Four Wars." This series allows you to read about different women's experiences in war zones, including Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq/Afghanistan. One example is the story that Lt Commander Holly Harrison shares about hanging out at the Coast Guard recruiting office, boarding fishing vessels in Alaska, against the wishes of the captains, and finally receiving the assignment of her first boat. She gives a series of video interviews about her experiences and has photos as well. Explore these stories at LOC.gov.

Women Veterans Monument at Rockaway Beach in New York. Photo courtesy of New York City Parks Art & Antiquities. Public domain.

Department of Defense: Women's History

Last year the Department of Defense's website had great articles and timelines of women in the military. I am sure they will do an updated story this year as well, but the March 2015 articles are very good. See Defense.gov, from March of 2015. It has a very interesting timeline of women's shifting role in the military. It also has links to several scholarships that are available for women.

National Women's History Museum

Since its founding in 1966 the National Women's History Museum has been trying to receive Congressional support to build a museum in Washington D.C. to tell the history of women. Fundraising, as well as limited open land near the Mall, have hindered the actual building of the museum. However, in December 2014 a bipartisan group was established to review options. The Museum's website, always has interesting exhibits online and educational resources. This month one of the series is "Partners in Winning the War: American Women in WWII." See NWHM.org.

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