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Baltimore Women Make History

March is National Women's History Month.
March is National Women's History Month.

March is National Women's History Month, which began with a proclamation of Women's History Week by President Carter in 1980.  In 1987, Congress expanded it to the entire month.  This year's theme is Writing Women Back into History. One of the goals is to update textbooks to include women's important contributions.  Events are held nationwide to recognize women and their amazing accomplishments.

This is a good time to teach children about local women who have had a significant impact on society. Baltimore is fortunate to have many female pioneers who made a difference in their community.

One of Baltimore's most famous residents was Bea Gaddy, a tireless advocate for the poor.  Her first Thanksgiving dinner was held on the sidewalk in front of her home. Through her efforts, the event has evolved to feed about 3,000 people on site, with 50,000 meals delivered. Gaddy was elected to the City Council in 1999, and her family center continues to be a resource for the poor and homeless, providing clothing, baby supplies and furniture for those in need.

Baltimore is home to Senator Barbara Mikulski, who has served the area since her election to City Council in 1971.  Her work includes legislation focusing on women's health issues, senior citizens and quality education.  Mikulski is the Dean of Women in the Senate, where she mentors new women senators.

Another accomplished Baltimorean is Anne Tyler, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for her novel, Breathing Lessons.  A bestselling author, she uses Baltimore as the setting for many of her stories.  Her 18th novel, Noah's Compass, was released this year.

Start your own Women's History celebration. Visit the B&O Railroad Museum  to see their Women's History exhibit, and take in other events around town. Celebrate the women in your family and community who help others.

By teaching the importance of women's contributions throughout history, we honor women for their remarkable achievements, show appreciation for those who opened the door of opportunity for us, and we will empower girls and women to make the world a better place.

Women are making history every day. While we all may not be able to make an impact on such a large scale, we can start in our own homes, with our own children, and through our work, whatever that may be.  We have the power to change the world, one life at a time.