What began in 1982 as “Women’s History Week” has now evolved into a full month of rightful recognition for women. March is National Women’s History Month, dedicated to the vital roles and contributions of women in all areas of life. While current media hot topics regarding women commonly spark anger, resentment, and backlash towards one another,
Women’s History Month is an opportunity for all women to unite in celebration and recognition for the great thoughts, words, and actions that have contributed to our society.
In and around Austin, many women have left pieces of their great passion for each of us to find.
Susanna Dickinson is known as the “Messenger of the Alamo.” As a survivor of the Battle of the Alamo, Susanna became Santa Anna’s personal messenger to Sam Houston, ending the revolution. Today, Susanna’s home is known as the Susanna Dickinson Museum, located at 411 E 5th Street. The museum offers guided tours Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 5pm. Currently, the Susanna Dickinson Museum offers two online exhibits that can be viewed on their website: The Other Messengers, and Tough Texas Women – Barbara Jordan. Learn about other women and children who survived the Battle of the Alamo, and the life and legacy of the first African American congresswoman from the south, Barbara Jordan. You can find more information about the Susanna Dickinson Museum at susannadickinsonmuseum.org.
German sculptor Elisabet Ney is celebrated in Austin for her art and legacy as a Civil Rights advocate and a champion of the Texas Women’s Movement. The Elisabet Ney Museum is home to the largest collection of her work, and also showcases work by contemporary artists. Admission is free. Learn more about the museum at elisabetneymuseum.org.
Many women have shaped Texas music across different genres. You can learn more about many female artists at the Texas Music Museum, located at 1009 E 11th Street. Discover the contributions of dramatic Soprano Dreda Aves and classical pianist Ruth Bingaman. Learn about soul pioneers Esther Phillips from Galveston, or Tejana pioneers Lydia Mendoza and Eva Garza from San Antonio. Admission to the museum is free, and donations are encouraged. Learn more about the Texas Music Museum at texasmusicmuseum.org.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in southwest Austin is rich with history and beauty, in honor of Lady Bird Johnson, former first lady of the United States. Her passion for native plants and beautiful landscapes lives on through the seeds of the Wildflower Center, where children and families enjoy many fun and educational opportunities. Its 284 acres is home to approximately 900 species of native Texas plants, and 1,800 species of insects. You can learn more about the Wildflower Center at wildflower.org.
Through the end of August, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is presenting “Sister Suffragists,” an exhibition dedicated to the fight for women’s right to vote. See scrapbooks, speeches, letters, textiles, and other artifacts from the suffrage movement. For more information, visit thestoryoftexas.com.
National Women’s History Month is an opportunity to remind ourselves and teach our daughters that despite the obstacles that may still exist in our society, women have always and will always find a way to fight against oppression and injustice.
Learn more about National Women’s History Month and find more resources at womenshistorymonth.gov.