THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH, 1997
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Throughout the history of our Nation, women have played a pivotal role in bringing about positive change to every aspect of American life, and their achievements continue to touch the lives of every single citizen. Women's History Month honors the women who made these accomplishments possible, securing their rightful place in history among those who have made our country great. This month, we celebrate these women's lives -- and renew our commitment to breaking down the gender barriers that still exist.
Through their courage, foresight, and community spirit over the years, American women have created a world of opportunity for today's heroines and role models -- women such as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the highest ranking woman to serve in any presidential administration; Dr. Shannon W. Lucid, who has performed five historic and complex Space Shuttle missions during 18 years with NASA and recently broke the American and women's world record for continuous time in space; Oseola McCarty, who in 1995 donated the life savings she had earned as a maid to fund scholarships at the University of Mississippi; and Julie Su, the young attorney who first came to prominence through her efforts to expose illegal exploitation of Thai immigrants in a California sweatshop and who continues to help immigrants to secure proper medical care, employment, and the dignity they deserve. The pioneers in women's history would be proud of today's women pioneers.
As we approach the 21st century, we have reached another significant milestone in our Nation's history: Women have approached an almost equal share in the labor force. Thus, it is more important than ever that we enable women and men to meet their responsibilities at work and at home.
Women continue to break the glass ceiling, changing their status from employee to employer. Today, women-owned businesses are creating one out of every four jobs in the United States. From the classroom to the board room, women now occupy every part of the work force, building the kinds of lives for themselves and their families that are the heart of the American Dream.
Women's History Month provides Americans with an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of all the women who have enriched our Nation, to honor their legacy, and to reflect upon what we can all do to end discrimination against women. I encourage all Americans to learn from, and share information about, women's history in their workplaces, classrooms, and family rooms. As every family has its own heroes, so does our country. Only by studying the history of America's women can we fully understand the history of America.
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 of America, do hereby proclaim March 1997, as Women's History Month. I ask educators, Government officials, and all citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, remembering not only this month but also every month the many different contributions that women make every day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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