Women's History Month

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 1, 2000


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Last spring, three women astronauts paused during a shuttle mission to pay homage to the past. Thousands of miles into space, floating above the floor of the shuttle, they raised a women's suffrage banner and posed for a picture. Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, a participant in this special tribute and a member of the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History, said, "We wanted to show how far women have come in this century and to honor the people who fought for our rights." Each year during the month of March, citizens across our country pause to honor the many heroes whose diligence and determination have helped to forge our Nation and enable people like Ellen Ochoa and her colleagues to soar so high.

Women's History Month is about highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout our history, while recognizing the equally significant obstacles they had to overcome along the road to success. It is about the women who bravely donned uniforms and fought for our country. It is about the passion and vision of women educators like Mary McLeod Bethune, who, with only $1.50 in her pocket, founded a school for young black women. It is about the perseverance and pion-eering spirit of women like Margaret Chung, the first Chinese American woman physician, who supported herself through medical school by washing dishes and lecturing on China. It is about Alice Paul's fight for the vote and Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich's campaign to end discrimination against Alaska Natives. It is about the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, the leadership of labor organizer Dolores Huerta, and the trailblazing artistry of photographer Margaret Bourke-White. It is also about the millions of unsung women whose contributions have made life better for their families and their communities.

Inspired by the courageous pioneers who came before them, women today continue to shape our Nation's destiny. Last year, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins became the first woman commander of a space shuttle mission. American violinists Sarah Chang, Pamela Frank, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg were the first women to take home the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize in its 25-year history. And, in a game attended by the largest crowd of all time for a women's sporting event, the U.S. women's soccer team captured the World Cup. Today, 58 women hold seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 9 women are United States Senators. More women hold high-level positions in my Administration than in any other in history. And in the private sector, women own nearly 9 million small businesses, employing millions of Americans and contributing significantly to the strength of our economy.

As we honor the past and celebrate the present, we must also focus on the future. Our choices today will have an enormous impact on the destiny of our daughters and grand-daughters, our sons and grandsons. We must rededicate ourselves to forging a society in which gender no longer predetermines a person's opportunities or station in life. We must shatter the glass ceiling; eradicate wage discrimination; and ensure that every American has the tools to meet both family and work responsibilities and to retire in security. By breaking down the remaining barriers and opening wide the doors of opportunity, we can make the future brighter for women and for all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2000 as Women's History Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and to remember throughout the year the many contributions of courageous women who have made our Nation strong.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.


What's New - March 2000

Women's History Month 2000

The Minimum Wage: Increasing the Reward for Work

New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

Meeting with Religious Leaders

Women's History Month

New Public Private Initiative to reduce Weather Related Air Travel Delays

Gun Violence

Agreement with Smith & Wesson


Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

American Red Cross Month

Prescription Drug Plan

U.S. – China WTO Accession Deal

Common Sense Gun Laws

Irish-American Heritage Month

Civilian Research and Development

Patient's Bill of Rights

Joint Statement by President Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK

Vaccines to Developing Countires

Human Genome Project

Information Age

Semi-Finalists for 2000-2001 White House Fellowships

President Clinton Urges Congress to Pass Budget

Congressional Budget Resolution

Save your Vision Week

St. Patrick's Day, 2000

Clinton/Gore actions to Enhance America's Energy Security

Social Security Trustees Report - March 30, 2000

Strengthen America's Energy Security

Report Shows Unprecedented Progress

Proclamation: Cancer Control Month, 2000

National Poison Prevention Week

Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 2000

Greek Independence Day

Proclamation: National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2000

Statement by the President on NPT

Common Sense Gun Legislation

Raising the Minimum Wage

U.S. --China WTO Accession Deal

U.S.- China WTO Agreement

Enforcement of The U.S. - China WTO Accession Deal

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