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There is a wealth of bizarre, unique, special and otherwise different holidays. Just this month, there is National Pig Day, (Hope you had a great day Arnold Ziefell), Peanut Butter Lovers' Day, and National Anthem Day to name a few. I see nothing wrong in a day where we honored our national song and so forth.
But I want to talk about a rather serious holiday – International Women’s Day celebrated today, March 8. It is a day of general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. It is a toss between Mother’s Day and Valentines Day and Labor Day.
The history of this day can be traced back to the late 1900’s. Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was encouraging women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) proposed the idea of an International Women's Day. She suggested that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day evolved.
We owe the women who have gone before us thanks for their efforts and dedication to secure our freedom to vote, to have jobs and expect equal pay, to marry and live the way we want, and to have the express rights of freedom and fairness.
On International Women’s Day, think about the woman you have become and what got you here.
I have been thinking about all the women who have lived before me…who lived their lives to secure my freedom to vote, to have jobs and expect equal pay, to marry and live the way I want, and to have the express rights of freedom and fairness.
The first lady I want to thank is Helen Keller. Helen Keller was a pioneer before her time. Although she was deaf and blind, she had the combined intelligence of Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill. She paved the way for persons with disabilities to do whatever they may desire; to let no road blocks deterred them. She also held high standards for herself. She was always well groomed and gracious to whoever assisted her. She lived in grandeur lightness, never pitied herself, compared to others who live in their gray suffering destitute world. From the moment she learned the hand signal for water, she probably thought, “Watch out world, here I come!”
The second lady I want to thank is Eleanor Roosevelt. Not until a trip to Washington DC when I saw the Roosevelt Memorial, did I really comprehend and realized the magnitude of work she did for Civil Rights. She was stubborn and self-willed. This woman was a solder when it came to female equality. She would not accept “no” from anyone including her husband, the 32nd President of the United States. She wrote about public welfare and took pride in her publications. She was a supporter of all race – black or white, poor or rich.
Third, I want to thank my mother and my 2 grandmothers who inspired me to be all I can no matter my challenge. I am and will continue to be the grand woman I am because of these three ladies and their belief in me.