On Tuesday, February 26, Philadelphia’s PBS television station, WHYY presented Makers: Women Who Make America which depicted the history of the women’s movement. The documentary, which was narrated by Meryl Streep, began with the publication of Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique which was published in 1963.
The documentary chronicled events of the women’s rights movement. It also demonstrated how it impacted other cultures such as African American women and lesbians. It determined how far women have come and how far they have to go. The show also told inspiring stories such as that of Katherine Switzer who, in 1967, became the first women to officially enter and run in the Boston Marathon even though an official tried to remove her with force from that race.
The documentary was a nice segue into Women’s History Month which is observed in March and first began in 1857 when women in New York City protested over working conditions. In 1981 Congress authorized a National Women’s History Week and in 1987 it was given a whole month.
Every year the National Women’s History Project creates a theme and this year’s theme is Women inspiring innovation through imagination: Celebrating women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center is celebrating all month long the event which pays homage to those who struggled first and those who need to be inspired now. Currently there are 157 million women in the United States and 53% of the people who live in Philly are women so it’s good that the center is highlighting the importance of this observance.
The center is taking things a bit further than other organizations that may be recognizing the importance of the women’s movement. They’re offering something every day in March. That’s 31 opportunities to commemorate, educate, and inspire. Awesome.
Throughout the entire month of March, there will be events, programs, and tours. They’re all free after the cost of admission. However, on Sunday, March 24, the museum will be open and free to the public.
Some of the programs that are being offered at the center are:
- The interactive show, Philadelphia Girl Power, will show Philadelphia women that made history and did things before anyone else.
- The First Ladies Show will feature little known facts about America’s first ladies such as Abigail Adams, whose husband was President John Adams. She was the first woman to be married to a president, be a mother of a president, and the first woman to live in the White House.
- There will also be a tour, The Story of We the People, which chronicles the accomplishments of the women’s movement.