Since 1987, after an outcry of support from the public, Congress passed a law that designated the month of March as Women’s History Month. Throughout the years, thousands of events have grown from this celebration of the historical and cultural achievements of women. Including this year’s the 100th anniversary of the passing of 19th Amendment.
Throughout Ohio, there are places that celebrate the many accomplishments of women. In Cleveland, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum is a great place to learn about Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride, Bessie Coleman and other great female aviators and astronauts. The museum has a wide collection of vintage photography from the most inspiring era of aviation history.
The Goodrich House was founded by Flora Stone Mather and is one of the first settlement houses in the area. Although it was affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, the house came to be recognized as an institution that united many immigrant communities. Now renamed Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center, this staple offers after-school programs, cooking and photography for young adults.
And Ohio has many events planned to celebrate some of its most famous women:
Ohio Statehouse in Columbus
The Athena Art Society, formed in 1903 and one of the oldest continuous women’s art organizations in the country, is setting up an original exhibition honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment and women’s suffrage at the Ohio Statehouse. Athena Art Society Tribute to Women’s History Month celebrates the amazing achievements and accomplishments of these female artists while honoring the suffragettes that allowed for this event to happen.
Ohio History Center in Columbus
Come learn about the impact women have made on the state’s past at the Ohio History Center. The center kicks of their yearlong commemoration of the passing of the 19th Amendment on March 14 with their event “100 Years of Ohio Women’s Activism.” Speak with a suffragette from 1919 or talk with representatives from women’s organizations throughout Ohio, including Ohio Women Voters and Ohio Women’s Alliance. Feeling crafty? Make your own protest banner or sash! The center will be hosting women-dedicated events all month long, including Women’s History Highlights, Inside the Sampler Case, Mae Takasugi’s Parasol, and more!
Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is celebrating women that have cracked the glass ceiling and broken the rules with their “Women Breaking Boundaries” exhibit. From now until April 12, explore artwork created by female artists from the 17th century to today that have made an impact on art history.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
Celebrate the woman that traveled back and forth from North to South over 19 times and freed over 300 slaves at “Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta’ The Underground” at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. Learn not only about America’s struggle with slavery, but also the brave woman who acted against the injustice. Catch this one-woman interactive storytelling experience March 14 and 15.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati
Explore the house of Harriet Beecher Stowe and learn about the life and legacy of the famous author and activist. Famously called “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war” by Abraham Lincoln, Stowe played a significant role in advancing the anti-slavery movement in the United States. Attend the “Sisters in Solidarity?” discussion March 4 and “Harriet Beecher Stowe & Two Contemporary Women Reformers” discussion April 1, as well as the Women’s Suffrage-Myth and Reality exhibit March 8.
Harmon Museum in Lebanon
The Harmon Museum in Warren County is celebrating women’s suffrage all year long with their exhibit “Women Leading the Way.” With special artifacts like sashes, flags, pins and outfits, you can pretend as if its 1920 and you’re experience the suffragette movement yourself.
McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton
Every Wednesday in March, the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum will be hosting a Women’s History Month Lecture Series. With discussions titled “Women’s Suffrage: A Celebration of Persistence,” “Canton’s Women: Celebrating the Contributions of our Foremothers,” “Feminine Fashion” and “Women in Science,” you will be sure to learn about the profound impact that women have had far and wide.
Historic Fort Steuben in Steubenville
Celebrate the struggles and successes of the those who fought for women’s voting rights at Historic Fort Steuben’s “Ohio Women Vote” exhibit. The traveling display includes 12 banners of text and images that analyze and honor the women who yearned for women’s suffrage.
International Women’s Day March in Cleveland
On March 8, lace up your boots and don your coats the same way the protesters of the Suffragette movement did and head to downtown Cleveland for the International Women’s Day March. Organized by grassroots activist women of greater Cleveland, this independent march is in cooperation with sister marches across the world.
Rutherford B. Hayes President Library and Museum in Fremont
Celebrate the amazing woman that was Lucy Webb Hayes at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum. Lucy, a devout wife, mother and advocate, first made her place in women’s history when she was permitted to enroll at Ohio Wesleyan University despite women not being allowed to study there. Lucy influenced her husband with anti-slavery sentiments, prompting him to defend runaway slaves who crossed the Ohio River. She worked for the welfare of children and veterans and secured funding for an orphanage for the children of Civil War veterans during her husband’s tenure as governor of Ohio. Come to the museum to learn more about Lucy or attend the events that the museum is hosting in honor of women’s history month, including a “Finding Her Voice” book club and the Women of Spiegel Grove exhibit.
Even though Women’s History Month is just 31 days, it will take you longer than that to experience all of Ohio’s historical attractions. With such a rich history and talented natives, there’s no wonder so many women call Ohio their home.