Marshall Habilitation Center to celebrate Women's History Month

Friday, March 1, 2002

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Marshall Habilitation Center will host a number of presentations to explore history and address current concerns throughout March.

The observance is part of an overall effort by the Department of Mental Health and its facilities to raise awareness of women's heritage within the state.

Women have played key roles, not only in community and family life, but also in the business, political and public spheres," said MHC Superintendent Mary Fangmann. "Raising awareness of women's contributions allows us to take a much wider vision of what was going on in any given time period, both historically and present day."

"It also deepens our understanding of the past and gives a more balanced perspective of our own lives and possibilities for the future," she added.

The first presentation will be made by Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Paula Woodruff, who will speak about her career and experiences at 1 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the Spainhower Building conference room on the MHC campus.

The second presentation, to be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 7, also in the Spainhower conference room, will concentrate on the history and significance of the Statue of Liberty featuring speaker Janet Miller, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Diane Dudenhoeffer, an investment representative for Edward Jones investments, will discuss finances and investments at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 14, in the conference room.

"The area of finances is new to a lot of women since traditionally they were handled by the men. But things are changing, and men as well as women are always interested and wanting to learn more," noted Linda Schlotzhauer, co-chairwoman of the MHC Women's History Committee.

Mary Burge, an Arrow Rock resident and member of Daughters of the American Revolution, will host a presentation at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, focusing on history in the community of Arrow Rock and the Osage tribe that inhabited the area.

Capping off the month's events, Columbia resident and DAR member Erica Pickard will put on a historical presentation about the history of women's shoes, including a slide presentation, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 27.

The observance of Women's History Month began as a local celebration in Sonoma County, California, in 1978 to address the fact that women's history was a virtually unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum. It soon spread across the nation, first as a week-long observance with a congressional resolution in 1981 declaring National Women's History Week.

In 1987, the National Women's History Project petitioned Congress to expand the celebration to the entire month of March and it is now celebrated in thousands of schools, workplaces and communities across the nation.

MHC has been celebrating Women's History Month for a number of years, and all of this year's events will be open to the public.

"Women have a rich history, and this is one way to look at different aspects of it. And it's nice to say 'Hey, look what everyone has done,'" said Schlotzhauer.

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