By the President of the United States of America
During Women's History Month we celebrate the many unique and vital contributions that women have made to our Nation. While this month is dedicated to all American women, we pay special tribute to those who have earned a noted place in history. We recall with admiration and respect women who were first in their fields, including Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree; Elizabeth Ann Seton and Emma Hart Willard, who were pioneers in education; Anne Macy Sullivan and Helen Keller, who advanced the training of the blind and other persons with disabilities; and Sophia Heath, who helped open doors for women in commercial aviation as well as in sports. We gratefully remember humanitarians such as Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and we proudly celebrate the artistic and literary genius of women like Mary Cassatt and Flannery O'Connor. We also remember with fondness women like Clare Boothe Luce and Pearl Bailey, who not only earned respect for their public service and diplomacy but also endeared themselves to millions through their wit, generosity, and contagious love of life and learning. These are just a few of the many women who have made lasting contributions to the United States, but their celebrated achievements underscore how every aspect of our national life has been enriched by the creativity, energy, and leadership of women.
As we recognize the many outstanding contributions that women have made to American history and culture, we acknowledge with special gratitude the role women have played in upholding the principles on which the United States is founded. During the mid-19th century, women like Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe become heroines of the struggle against slavery; women such as Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stantion also advocated the abolition of slavery as they championed woman's suffrage. Of course, who can forget the quiet determination of Rosa Parks, whose courage and resolve in the face of bigotry gave heart to an entire social movement. Each of these women and countless others worked to fulfill America's promise of liberty and justice for all.
Today women continue to defend and to promote the ideals on which this Nation is founded. Indeed, history will show that those American women who served in the recent struggle to liberate Kuwait helped not only to deter ruthless aggression but also to build a new world order based on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Advancing to new and ever greater positions of responsibility in virtually every field, woman continue to uphold the American ideals of liberty, equality, and justice. Most important, however, because it is within the family that our Nation's most cherished values and traditions are passed from one generation to the next, women help to preserve our american heritage by nurturing in their children faith, moral values, and a sense of civic duty. Thus, as we celebrate the achievements of noted women in American history, let us also acknowledge with pride and gratitude the contributions that so many unsung heroines have made to our country through the institutions of family and community life.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, 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 1991 as Women's History Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.