Founded in 1910, International Women's Day marked its 100th anniversary this past Monday. Begun by Clara Zetkin at the Conference for Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark, the holiday has evolved into a day to mark the progress women have made and to call attention to the work that still needs to be done.
To that end, I have a couple stories today marking women's progress and achievements. The first comes from Good Housekeeping. As part of the magazine's 125th anniversary (anniversaries all around this week, I guess), the editorial staff chose to recognize and celebrate 125 years of influential women in the April issue. The website Tonic quoted a press release that said the event GH is hosting, called "'Shine On,' will salute icons, visionaries, goddesses, and even 'hellraisers,'" including Susan B. Anthony, Sally Ride and Madonna. "Shine On" will be held to raise money to build the first-ever permanent location of the National Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C.
International Women's Day (which is a national holiday in places like Vietnam, China and Bulgaria...) was observed in D.C. by a number of organizations. Congress was not about to miss out on the action. The Boston Globe reported the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor, in a ceremony today. WASPs flew non-combat missions during World War II to free up male pilots for combat duties overseas. Thirty-eight of the more than 1000 women pilots were killed in the service of their country, yet never received military honors or recognition for their sacrifice since they were technically civilians.