We honor the contributions of women in our society throughout March during Women’s History Month. Started in 1978 as a weeklong celebration coinciding with International Women’s Day, it has grown over the last 30 years to spotlight the great accomplishments of women past and present, as well as the growing opportunities for young girls.
Maryland’s history is rich with pioneering, bold women who have made our state and our nation a better place. We are proud of our Free State daughters, including luminaries like Harriett Ross Tubman, who escaped slavery to establish the underground railroad and fought to share freedom with others; Barbara Fritchie, friend of Francis Scott Key, who defied Stonewall Jackson and his Confederate Troops by leaving a Union flag flying in her window; Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross; author and ecologist Rachel Carson, the mother of our modern environmental movement; writer and scholar Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah and innovator who started the first adult education classes in Baltimore; Gladys Noon Spellman, a lifelong public servant who promoted major reforms in housing policy; and political trailblazer Barbara Mikulski, the first woman elected in her own right to the U.S. Senate, who I am privileged to serve with on behalf of all Marylanders. This is but a sampling
of the women who have moved us forward in civil rights, education, politics and social policy. Women have kept us on the cutting edge of medicine, science, foreign affairs, and so many other areas.
Women’s History is American History. This month and year-round we need to remember the struggles and achievements of the great women in our lives and dedicate ourselves to providing real opportunities to every woman and young girl for they will shape our nation’s future.