Dive into women's history with these 4 free online resources

When you’re in all probability nonetheless caught at dwelling attributable to COVID-19, this does not imply you’ll be able to’t have a good time Girls’s History Month by studying about girls’s previous and modern achievements in America and past.

The origins of Girls’s History Month stretch back to 1978 when the Training Activity Drive of the Sonoma County (California) Fee on the Standing of Girls organized a “Women’s History Week” in March. After an affiliation of ladies’s teams and historians, led by the Nationwide Girls’s History Alliance (then the Nationwide Girls’s History Venture), successfully lobbied for national recognition in 1980, the week of March eighth grew to become Nationwide Girls’s History Week. And in 1987, Congress handed a legislation declaring March Girls’s History Month. 

The Nationwide Girls’s History Alliance chooses the month’s theme annually. As a result of the pandemic limited 2020 centennial suffrage celebrations, it prolonged 2020’s theme, round (*4*) to 2021. 


For too lengthy, girls’s tales and contributions have been overlooked of our nationwide narrative, says Jennifer Herrera, vice chairman of exterior affairs on the Nationwide Girls’s History Museum.

“History is just as full because the tales we educate, share, and be taught. Girls’s history is thrilling and provoking and empowering, and by together with girls’s voices and ladies’s tales, we’re telling a extra inclusive, consultant, and correct history,” she says. 

With that in thoughts, Mashable reached out to the Nationwide Girls’s History Museum, the Nationwide Girls’s History Alliance, the New-York Historic Society’s Middle for Girls’s History, and the Nationwide Girls’s Corridor of Fame to curate an inventory of partaking resources that elevate the largely untold tales of underrepresented girls. In addition they discover the battle for suffrage and different very important actions inside girls’s history. We included digital media that function a variety of ladies from various cultures, sexualities, lessons, and fields. 

Try the beneath free online alternatives and add to your information of how girls have formed the world.

Feeling as if Washington D.C.’s museums ignored girls’s history, Karen Staser based the Nationwide Girls’s History Museum in 1996. As a completely online museum (although, it is working to open a bodily location in D.C. in 2022), it is nicely poised to spice up your information about girls who contributed to history from afar.

Within the museum’s Biographies part, for instance, you’ll be able to find out about each historic and modern girls who broke boundaries, together with  poet Maya Angelou, Supreme Courtroom Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the primary Native American United States poet laureate Joy Harjo, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay

Its assortment of online exhibits discover themes inside girls’s history. It additionally profiles a few of the girls included inside its biographies however contains extra visible components like photographs and drawings. You’ll be able to be taught the names and tales of ladies who have been an integral part of NASA, sympathize with the struggles Latina and Hispanic suffragists endured, or delve into the fascinating lifetime of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. And that is solely a style of what is obtainable. 

You additionally do not should be taught alone. Tune into the museum’s [email protected] programming, which launched in October 2020 and presents training about trailblazing girls all through history and on matters equivalent to women who ran for president. It supplies this stay digital programming on girls’s history by panel discussions, creator talks,  walk-throughs of online displays, and extra on choose Sundays. Members should register and every occasion is capped at 500 registrants. It’s also possible to view previous occasions on the [email protected] webpage

The Nationwide Girls’s History Alliance pointed Mashable towards 26 animated documentary shorts, identified collectively as UNLADYLIKE2020. Narrated by The Good Spouse actress Julianna Margulies and Lorraine Toussaint from Orange is the New Black, every encompasses a pivotal lady in history and engages readers with its good artwork, upbeat music, skilled interviews, and vivid particulars. 

Study Louise Arner Boyd, the primary lady to guide scientific expeditions within the Arctic. Or hearken to gender non-conforming Gladys Bentley, who sang the blues and performed the piano through the Harlem Renaissance. Or cheer on Gertrude Ederle as you watch her change into the primary lady to swim the English Channel. She impressed greater than 60,000 girls within the U.S. to earn Crimson Cross swimming certificates within the Twenties, a time when most People had by no means swum earlier than.

Documentary filmmaker Charlotte Mangin created the sequence as a result of she needed to share the tales of trailblazing, however comparatively unknown girls, in time for the centennial anniversary of ladies’s suffrage in 2020. She advised Mashable that by the sequence, she hopes to spotlight girls who have been typically the primary of their fields, notably these of coloration who confronted further hurdles attributable to racism and sexism.

Mangin and her crew assembled a board of 13 educational advisors to make sure historic accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and assist choose the 26 girls featured within the shorts.


UNLADYLIKE2020 additionally presents a free history curriculum and lesson plans based mostly on the 26 girls profiled. This content material is suitable for college kids in grades 6-12. You’ll be able to entry it here.

The Middle for Girls’s History on the New-York Historic Society explores the lives of a variety of notable girls in American history from totally different cultures, sexualities, lessons, and races.

Its blog discusses various fascinating questions and matters, like if Wonder Woman was actually a feminist icon, the history of the girl who pushed for a better medical mask and whose designs inspired the N95 mask, and Black girls’s integral roles in celebrating Juneteenth.

The Middle additionally presents a library of brief animated movies that contact on “inspiring girls’s tales and key themes.” For instance, find out about Thomas(ine) Hall, an intersex particular person residing in colonial Virginia, or Lorenda Holmes, a spy in New York who sabotaged American struggle efforts through the American Revolution.

The Nationwide Girls’s Corridor of Fame, a corporation devoted to “celebrating the achievements of distinguished American girls,” options a variety of icons, lots of whom bucked societal gender norms to change into the primary lady, or one of many first, of their fields. You’ll be able to examine every of these girls here

Inducted girls come from fields as numerous as science, authorities, the humanities, enterprise, athletics, training, and philanthropy. For instance, examine Gwendolyn Brooks, a celebrated poet from Chicago’s South Facet, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist and creator who fought to determine the Florida Everglades as a nationwide park, or Althea Gibson, the primary African American tennis participant to win the All-England Championships at Wimbledon. It’s also possible to watch previous induction ceremonies here.

The Nationwide Girls’s Corridor of Fame has additionally recorded the oral histories of some residing inductees.  Hearken to former First Girl Rosalynn Carter focus on her upbringing, give recommendation to younger youngsters about easy methods to attain their desires, and encourage them to do no matter they will to assist others. Or hear astronomer Judith Pipher discuss how she obtained within the discipline as a toddler, regardless of failing her first astronomy take a look at at school.

All of these resources will probably broaden the ladies that come to thoughts when you consider historic milestones and, maybe, encourage the ladies and women in your life to appreciate greatness has no limits.

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