Women's History Month

Although President Jimmy Carter released a statement encouraging that March 2-8 be recognized as Women's History Week, the first official proclamation of this precursor to Women's History Month came from President Reagan in 1982. Five years later, President Reagan declared the entire month of March to be Women's History Month. The text of that proclamation is as follows:

From earliest times, women have helped shape our Nation. Historians today stress all that women have meant to our national life, but the rest of us too should remember, with pride and gratitude, the achievements of women throughout American history.

Those achievements span the wide range of human endeavor. They have not been attained without the quiet courage and sacrifice of millions of women, some famed, most not. Women have established themselves in business and the professions, and today women outnumber men as undergraduates at our colleges and universities. Women have fought for moral and social reform and have taken part in and led many great social and political movements of our land. Women have founded many of our philanthropic, cultural, educational, and charitable institutions. Women have served our Nation with valor and distinction during wartime, nursing the wounded, piloting airplanes, performing vital jobs in defense plants. Women have forged a place for themselves in public life, serving on the Supreme Court, in the Congress, and in Cabinet posts; becoming Ambassadors; and holding Federal Executive posts that affect the lives of every citizen.

Most importantly, as women take part in the world of work, they also continue to embrace and nurture the family as they have always done. All Americans can be truly grateful for the role of women as the heart of the family and for their every accomplishment today and throughout our history.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 20, has designated the month of March 1987 as "Women's History Month" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 1987 as Women's History Month. I call upon all Americans to mark this month with appropriate observances to honor the achievements of American women.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan: "Proclamation 5619 - Women's History Month, 1987," March 16, 1987. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=33978.

National Pig Day

(March 1)

March 1 is the day to go hog-wild celebrating swine!  National Pig Day is an annual event in the United States dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the domesticated pig.  This hog holiday was first observed in 1972.

International Scrapbooking Industry Day

(March 4)

“A picture is worth a thousand words...”  Thanks to all the scrapbookers who creatively preserve our agricultural past.  Keep on scrapbooking to share history with future generations!

Weed Appreciation Day

(March 28)

Sweetbriar rose

The purpose of this day is to acknowledge that many plants generally considered “weeds” have positive qualities.  Here are four “weeds” that were originally considered worthy of appreciation, but have turned out to be monster aliens.  Also for good measure is a worst-case scenario unloved by all.  The color images are from rare books: Weeds, Poisonous Plants and Naturalized Aliens of Victoria; NAL call no.  SB613.A8E83; and: An Essay on the Weeds of Agriculture; NAL call no. 79 H71 R. The black and white images, which date from the 1920’s, are from the USDA Weed Photograph Collection (Ms. 194).  There are more than 1,400 photos and negatives in this collection.

To the left is a Sweetbriar rose (Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa eglanteria). What could there possibly be not to love about this beautiful wild rose?  It has elegant form and color, a sweet apple-like scent, and from the hips a tea containing a full-day’s supply of vitamin C can be made.  Unfortunately, it is also a non-native, invasive, aggressive, dominant, and prickly little shrub that is a threat to native plant communities.  USDA NRCS Plant Guide asks us not to plant it “in a home landscape, for wildlife habitat, or for any other use.”

Featured Collections

Collection NameNumberFinding Aid?
Hazel K. Stiebeling Papers 267 No
Eloise Cram Papers 45 Yes
USDA Poultry and Livestock Photograph Collection 273 No
U.S. National Animal Parasite Collection Records 223 No
Beverly Thomas Galloway Papers 66 Yes
Dorsett-Morse Oriental Agricultural Exploration Expedition Collection 51 Yes
National School Lunch Week Collection 112 No
National Agricultural Library (NAL) Records 113 No
Taylor, William A., Memory Book 378 No
USDA Bureau of Entomology Album 309 No
USDA Bureau of Plant Industry Records 242 No

Calendar Page

March 2015 calendar page (30mb PDF). 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17.