Important Dates in Women's
by Susan G. Butruille
March is Women's
- March 1 Matronalia, Roman celebration of women and
celebration of Juno-Lucina, protector of women and the family.
Temple fires welcomed the coming of spring.
- March 1, 1864 Rebecca Lee of Boston, MA became the first
African American woman to earn a medical degree.
- March 2 Roman festival of Vesta, Goddess of purifying
fire. Vestal virgins were independent women who were
priestesses of Vesta. The ancient meaning of “virgin” was “one
within,” signifying an independent woman.
- March 3 Hina Matsuri, Japanese Doll Festival,
dedicated to the three Munakata goddesses, daughters of
Amaterasu, the Sun.
- March 4 1933: Frances Perkins is sworn in as
Secretary of Labor, first woman in U.S. cabinet.
- March 4, 1917 Peace activist and suffragist Jeanette
Rankin became the first woman elected to the US House of
- March 7, 1870 Wyoming women allowed on juries; the
right later was taken away until the 1950s, when women once
again were admitted to serve.
- March 8, 1908 First International Women's Day,
founded by German labor activist Clara Zetkin.
- March 9 Holi (Hindu), spring festival dedicated to the
god of pleasure.
- March 10 Mothering Day (England), the original Mother’s
Day. It was the custom to visit one’s mother on this day and
present her with bread and presents.
- March 10 Hypatia’s Day, honoring the scholar of the
University of Alexandria. A pagan, Hypatia was murdered by a
mob of monks because she was a woman who taught men.
- March 10, 1913 Death of Harriet Tubman, Underground
Railroad conductor who rescued more than 300 of her people from
- March 12, 1993 Janet Reno became the first woman US
- March 20, 1925 Birth of Romana Banuelos, first
Mexican American woman to serve as US Treasurer.
- March 22, 1972 Equal Rights
Amendment passed by Congress and sent to states for
- March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New
York City. Nearly 146 workers died, mostly immigrant women.
Many were trapped because of locked exits.
- March 30 Feast of Eostra, German Goddess of rebirth and
fertility. This festival inspired the Christian Easter.
- Mar 31, 1776 Abigail Adams wrote her famous "Remember the
ladies" letter to her husband, John, urging him to include
women as he helped construct the US Constitution. He didn't.