Every March, we take the time to recognize all that women have done to shape the United States and the world with Women’s History Month.
Women’s History Month is observed in the US, Great Britain, and Australia in the month of March. Canada hosts a similar month-long event in the month of October. The idea of celebrating women dates back to 1911, when the first International Women’s Day was held on March 8th. The day is recognized as a time to honor the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
During the 1970s, International Women’s Day took off and was celebrated by local groups and municipalities during a week-long event named Women’s History Week. The week celebration garnered immense popularity and support. By the later 1970s, women and men alike began lobbying for a formal observance of the event. It was in 1980 that the observance became official: President Jimmy Carter was the first to designate the first National Women’s History Week, beginning on March 8th.
Pretty soon, American states began extending their celebrations of women’s history past just a day or a week. A national push for a month-long celebration came to a head in 1987, when Congress declared March to be the official Women’s History Month.
"Volunteer for the Red Cross Motor Corps" Vintage WWII Recruitment Poster
Presented is an original WWII poster designed by Whitman. Showing a woman behind the wheel of a vehicle speaking to two airmen, this poster places the female Red Cross volunteer in the middle of the planning. In bold red letters, it urges the viewer to “Volunteer for Red Cross Motor Corps.” Behind the scene sits a large B-17 Flying Fortress, a highly recognizable heavy bomber.
Amelia Earhart Signed FDC Collage
This is a custom collage featuring a first day Postal Cover signed by Amelia Earhart. The collage celebrates Earhart's famous transatlantic journey. The first day cover is dated May 20,1932 in New York and autographed by Amelia Earhart with full signature in black ink. The First Day Cover honors her flight as “America’s First Lady of the Air, First Woman to Fly the Atlantic Alone.” The postal cover is accompanied by black and white photographs of Earhart and her airplane.
"If You Want to Fight! / Join the Marines" Vintage WWI Poster by Howard Chandler Christy, 1915
Presented is an original "If You Want to Fight! / Join the Marines" World War I poster by Howard Chandler Christy from 1915. This taunting and daring recruitment poster urges the public to join the Marines. The work features the artist's printed signature in the lithograph stone, as well as a stunning depiction of a woman dressed in a Marines uniform at center. Christy played with the idea of switched gender roles, as shown here with a woman pictured in a traditionally masculine role. This aimed to seduce men into joining the service.
Grant and Hepburn Collage
Featuring autographs from Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, this collage showcases the friendship between two remarkable actors. Sitting below a photograph of Grant and Hepburn, a card reads, “Thanks Cary Grant” in slanted, dark ink. Just below that, a photograph of Hepburn speaking with Grant on the set of Charade is autographed by Audrey Hepburn.
The Story of My Life Signed by Helen Keller, Dated October 11th, 1937
This is 1937 printing of Helen Keller’s autobiography, signed and inscribed, in its original brown cloth boards. The inscription and signature read: “Cordial Greetings, Helen Keller, October 1937” on the front end page. The signature is written in pencil but is bold and legible. The book is dedicated by Keller to mentor Alexander Graham Bell. The Story of My Life is composed of letters from 1887-1901 and a supplementary account of her education written by John A. Macy. This edition was published by Grosset and Dunlap, New York, and includes black and white illustrations throughout.
Georgia O'Keeffe Autograph and Ansel Adams Signed Postal Cover and Photograph
Ansel Adams was a beloved black and white photographer known for his magnificent photographs of the American West. He helped to elevate photography from a documentation tool to high art. Georgia O’Keeffe was an American artist best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes. She is considered the mother of American Modernism.
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Collage
Presented is a custom-built collage featuring elements relating to jazz legends Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. The featured items include a Louis Armstrong signed publicity photo, an Ella Fitzgerald signed and inscribed publicity photo, a pamphlet featuring both Fitzgerald and Armstrong from their shared record, and the "Moonlight in Vermont" UK Record, Circa 1956.
Maps are a beautiful and unique way to look at our history as a country. Every map tells a story about our development and discoveries. This 1847 "Pictorial Map of the United States" by Ensign and Thayer features a unique view of the U.S. with exquisite hand-coloring and well-defined territory borders.
38-star American flags celebrate when Colorado became a state. Read more about these flags on this week’s blog.
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