Texas Women's History Month: Putting the Women Back in Texas History

Mar 16, 2017

Richards and a cohort of friends formed the Texas Women’s History Project in 1978 to research and reveal the omitted stories of Texas women’s history.

In 1976, a former social studies teacher named Ann Richards took her family to the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio to instill a love for Texas in her children. After watching a slide and film show designed to illustrate the universal character of Texas people, Richards’ daughter asked, “Where are all the women?” Richards realized they were missing from the show and decided to do something about it.

 

With Sarah Weddington and four other friends, Richards formed the Texas Women’s History Project in 1978 to research and reveal the women’s history that had been omitted from the show. The project did what no one had before: searched the state for artifacts and documents, discovered stories about 600 women and produced a museum exhibit.

 

This exhibit shattered old definitions of Texas history, what Richards had laughingly called “the saga of what men do outdoors.” Richards went on to make history herself, becoming a Travis County commissioner, then state treasurer and finally governor. Her first official proclamation as governor was to declare March to be Women’s History Month.

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas.