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March is National Women's History Month:

March celebrates National Women's History Month. The theme for 2018, selected by the National Women's History Project, is "Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women." The Project selected 15 women for their "unrelenting and inspirational persistence, and for understanding that, by fighting all forms of discrimination against women and girls, they have shaped America's history and our future.  These 2018 Honorees refused to be silenced."

To see the list of names of these extraordinary women, click here.

March also celebrates Irish American Heritage Month. First proclaimed by the U.S. Congress in 1995, and each year, the President issues a proclamation declaring March as the month to celebrate the many achievements and contributions to American culture by Americans of Irish heritage.

 

Read more on our Heritage Month Guide.

8. International Women's Day

This day to honor women was initially begun by the socialist movement that advocated for greater women's rights, especially the right to vote. The celebratory date was changed from the last Sunday in February to March 8 to honor women's role in the Russian Revolution. As feminism reignited in the late 1960s, International Women's Day gained popularity as a day to celebrate women's lives and work all over the world.

10. Harriet Tubman: African American (1820-1913)

An abolitionist, she became known as the "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, the hidden system for helping slaves escape from the Southern United States to the North of the country during the period that slavery was legal. She led some 400 slaves to freedom, and in so doing became known as "Moses." She inspired many with her heroic deeds and words, such as, "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."

12. Martyrdom of Hazrat Fatemeh: Iran

Shi'a Muslims in Iran and countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, and Pakistan observe the anniversary on this day of the martyrdom of Hazrat Fatemeh Zahra, known as the "shining one." Fatemeh was the only daughter of the Prophet Muhammad and the wife of his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib, whom Shi'as believe was designated by Muhammad to be his successor. After the Prophet Muhammad died, Fatemeh was mortally wounded defending her husband Ali, the first Imam, for refusing to give his allegiance to Abu Bakr, Ali's uncle, whom the Sunni Muslims believe was Muhammad's legitimate successor. When Ali was assassinated in A.D. 661, Fatemeh and Ali's elder son Hasan ibn Ali became the second Imam. Upon the death of Hasan, their younger son Hussein ibn Ali became the third Imam, whose martyrdom at Karbala is commemorated on Ashura.

14. Albert Einstein (1879-1955): Jewish German American

Einstein was the leading theoretical physicist of the twentieth century. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. After the Nazi government confiscated his property and deprived him of German citizenship in 1933, he immigrated to the United States. Einstein became a naturalized citizen and took a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

17. St. Patrick's Day: Ireland

Ireland's patron saint, St. Patrick, is believed to have died on this date in 493 A.D. at the age of 106. The anniversary of his death is celebrated in Ireland as a national holiday, and the color of the day is green to signify undying gratitude to the memory of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The shamrock is worn to commemorate its use by the saint as a symbol of the Trinity. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of Irish descent all over the world as an expression of pride in their heritage. Cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York in the United States have very large parades. As part of the celebration, the city of Chicago has turned the Chicago River green.

21. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: United Nations

On this day in 1960, at least sixty-nine people were killed by police in a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid "pass laws" in the township of Sharpeville, South Africa. This day is commemorated in South Africa as Human Rights Day. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this international day in 1966 in commemoration of the Sharpeville Massacre.

23. Holi (3/23-3/24): Hindu

This festival of colors celebrates the coming of spring throughout India and the new harvest of the winter crop. It is celebrated over two days, Holi and Dhuleti, also known as chhoti holi and badi holi. Celebrations begin on the full moon night of the Hindu month of Phalgun, when large bonfires are lit to cleanse the air of evil spirits and to symbolize the destruction of Holika, for whom the festival is named. Newly harvested grains, coconuts, and sweets are thrown into the fire as offerings, followed by singing and dancing around the bonfire. When the fire dies down, water is splashed on the embers, and everyone applies the ash to their forehead. The following day is the festival of colors, a riotous and exuberant celebration of throwing colored powder, or gulal, on friends and spraying them with colored water, playing games, folk dancing, singing, feasting, and general merrymaking.

24. Dorothy I. Height (1912-2010): African American

Height was a pioneer in the civil rights movement whose activism spanned three-quarters of a century from the Roosevelt administration to the election of President Barack Obama. From 1957 until 1997 she led the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune to advance opportunities for African American women. The leading woman in the higher ranks of the early civil rights movement, she marched alongside Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and stood on the platform when he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. During Freedom Summer in 1964, she organized "Wednesdays in Mississippi" (WIMS) with her friend Polly Cowan during which Northern women of different races traveled to Mississippi to create dialogue with Southern women across regional, racial, and class differences in an effort to promote racial integration. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

25. Palm Sunday: Christian

This Sunday before Easter, Christians remember Jesus' last entry into Jerusalem, when his way was strewn with palms by those gathered to see him. Christian churches are decorated with palm on this Sunday. Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the most important week of the Christian year. The Lenten fast is strictest on Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified. Holy Week or Semana Santa in Spanish, is Mexico's biggest holiday period with many cities holding candlelight processions.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: United Nations

This day has been set aside to honor and remember the more than fifteen million men, women, and children who were victims of the 400-year transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest and most tragic chapters in human history. It is also a time to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice in today's world.

30. Good Friday: Christian
30-31. Passover: Jewish

Observed for eight days, this holiday celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Moses, an Israelite born into slavery, raised in the Pharaoh's household, and later banished as a young man for defending his people, returned to Egypt and confronted the Pharaoh in the name of God, demanding freedom for his people. The Pharaoh capitulated only after God sent ten plagues. Moses then led the Israelites through the desert for 40 years until they came to the land of Canaan, later called Palestine. The celebration of Passover, a spring festival commemorating freedom and new life, begins the previous evening with a Seder, a meal during which the story of Passover is read from the Haggadah. The menu includes a number of traditional foods such as matzoh, or unleavened bread, which recalls the unleavened bread eaten by the Israelites in the desert.

The entries for this calendar have been adapted from the Electronic Diversity Calendar (TM). Used with permission.

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