Women's Buttons 2
National Women's History Week was originally established by a Congressional Resolution passed in 1981. This was expanded to National Women's History Month in 1987. Women's History Month highlights and draws attention to the history of women and their contributions to America. It is celebrated during March each year, with a Congressional Resolution followed by a Presidential Proclamation. The 1985 National Women's History Week button portrayed here was issued by the National Women's History Project (NWHP). Founded in 1980, it was the NWHP which led the effort to designate the month of March as National Women's History Month.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded in 1874. It was established because of the concerns women had about the negative impacts of alcohol upon families and society. The movement initially began throughout Ohio and New York in the fall of 1873. Church prayer meetings and efforts to have saloon owners voluntarily close or limit their sales met with only limited success. Therefore, the women decided to formally organize into a national organization the following year. The National Woman's Christian Temperance Union is considered the oldest continuing non-sectarian women's organization not only in the United States, but the world. The WCTU continues to oppose alcohol, as well as illegal drugs, tobacco, and same-sex marriage, all of which they see as harmful to families.
In 1969, feminists gathered in Atlantic City, New Jersey to demonstrate in protest of the Miss America Pageant. They had undertaken a similar protest the year before, in 1968, and it was at that time the term, "women's lib" was first referenced in the media. It was at the 1969 event that the button which for many people most symbolizes the "Women's Liberation Movement" is believed to have first been seen. Designed by Robin Morgan, the button portrays a red clenched fist inside the female biological symbol, also in red, and on a white background. (The button depicted here was obtained during the summer of 1970 from the "Women's Liberation" offices in New York. I remember I was not allowed to go in because I was a male, so someone brought a few out for me.)
The Maryland Women's Heritage Center is a proposed facility that will not only serve as a museum and resource center, but as a state focal point for education and the dissemination of knowledge as it pertains to the history, contributions, and issues relating to Maryland women. The idea for the center evolved from the Maryland Women's History project which was initiated in 1981. This was a collaborative effort between the Maryland Commission for Women and the Maryland State Department of Education. The Maryland Women's Heritage Center is an initiative of the Maryland Commission for Women which created in 1965 and established by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in 1971, The Commission "advises government, advances solutions, and serves as a statewide resource to expand social, political and economic opportunities for all women."
It was in San Francisco on November 4, 1978 that the first "Take Back the Night" march was held in the United States. The marches have continued to grow, are held annually across the nation, and are a protest against the rape, violence, street crime, and pornography which impacts women. As the event has grown, additional concerns such as child abuse have also been put forth. The button depicted here is from a "Take Back the Night" march held in Philadelphia the following year.
The feminist organization, Women Against Pornography (WAP), was organized in 1978 and extremely active throughout the 1980s. In addition to drawing attention to the pornographic sex shops and movie houses in New York City, the group also lobbied and pushed for anti-pornography laws. In its later years WAP's attention also became focused upon international sex trafficking. The button portrayed here is from the Women Against Pornography's October 20, 1979 "March on Times Square". This was at a time when the city was attempting to "clean up" Times Square, and as such had the support of New York City's Mayor Edward Koch and the theatre district. Over 5000 people attended the rally and march.
The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (BPW) was founded in 1919. As noted by several of the buttons depicted here, several of the issues which the BPW has concerned itself with over the years have included the elimination of job discrimination, equal pay for equal work, and the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), as portrayed on this button from a 1972 National Organization for Women conference, was initially a teacher who became involved in the temperance movement. It is said her interest in women's rights was a direct result of her not being allowed to speak at temperance rallies because she was a woman. By 1852, Susan B. Anthony had formally joined with America's pioneer activist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), in dedicating her life to securing the vote for women. Among other issues Anthony worked on were the admittance of women into the professions, equal educational opportunities at all levels for both women and men and former slaves, better pay for teachers, and the right for the children of ex-slaves to attend public schools. For almost 45 years Susan B. Anthony traveled throughout Europe and America giving nearly 100 speeches a year on behalf of women's rights.
The "505" pin was issued by the New Jersey Federation of Women's Clubs in 2007 for a special state initiative. This involved increasing awareness as it pertains specifically to "Domestic Violence". The Roman numeral "D", for Domestic, equals 50, and the "V", for Violence, is 5. The "505" pin was worn by Women's Club members while lobbying on this issue in Washington with their federal representatives.
Additional buttons on this page issued by various organizations and interest groups also pertain to "equal pay for equal work", a cause championed by the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1971, and issues pertaining to domestic abuse and battered women.
Text - Albert Feldstein
Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.
Allegany County, (Md.)