Women’s History Month: Honoring those who fight discrimination

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Women’s History Month celebrates and recognizes women’s contributions to culture, history and society.

Historically, this special observance month has been celebrated every March since 1987.

In 1980, the week of March 8 was declared National Women’s History week by President Jimmy Carter.

The National Women’s History project would triumphantly petition Congress years later to designate the entire month of March as Women’s History Month.

This year’s theme is “Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination.”

This theme pays homage to generations of women who have cured hurt with their courage and healed with their strength, ensuring that their progress would persist in the face of prejudice and discrimination.

• Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. (1821-1910), was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States and is often thought of as America’s first woman doctor.

• Jeannette Rankin of Montana was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916 and four years later women won the right to vote nationally with the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

• Harriet Pickens and Frances Willis became the first female African American officers in the U.S. Navy in December 1944. Newly appointed Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal decided that segregation in the Navy was not cost-effective, allowing black women to serve in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES, program.

• Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space June 18, 1983, when the space shuttle Challenger launched on mission STS-7.

• Jeannie Marie Leavitt is a U.S. Air Force general officer. She became the Air Force’s first female fighter pilot in 1993 and was the first woman to command a combat fighter wing.

• Hillary Clinton became the first American first lady to win a public office seat in 2001 becoming the 67th U.S secretary of state. Additionally, in 2016 she was the first woman in U.S History to become the presidential candidate nominated by a major political party.

There have been numerous women who as true visionaries have paved the way for women to continue to serve, lead and inspire others.

This month we celebrate and honor their legacy and encourage women to continue to move forward and rise above inequality, discrimination and injustice.

The Women’s History Month Committee would like to invite Hill AFB personnel and their families to the base’s Gerrity Memorial Library on March 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. to enjoy a trivia night.

This event is open to families and friends of all ages to compete against one another or with each other.

Prizes will be provided to trivia winners.