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Women’s History Month: A look back at the important contributions in El Paso

Women’s History Month began in the 1980s when “Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as ‘Women’s History Week.’” ACCORDING TO THE LLIBRARY OF CONGRESS WEBSITE.

Mabel Welch: Pioneer Woman Architect

In 1929, Mabel Clair Welch and her son Elvin vacationed in California, and during the trip, she studied Spanish-style architecture to gather ideas in her home designs in El Paso.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Welch’s accomplishments.

Judy Zarate: She was always there.

Judy Zarate, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, served in local and national roles in the Women’s Political Caucus, becoming a leader of the caucus in the 1980s.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Zarate’s accomplishments.

Anne Holder fought for women’s rights.

Anne Holder, a UTEP-trained sociologist, educator, and early activist in the El Paso Woman Political Caucus, was named Feminist of the Year in 1976 at their Women’s Equality Day (WED) fundraising banquet.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Holder’s accomplishments.

Bonnie Lesley and the Founding of the El Paso Women’s Political Caucus.

A critically important EPWPC leader and renowned Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) administrator, Bonnie Lesley, was an especially influential EPWPC founding mother.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Holder’s accomplishments.

The History of the El Paso League of Women Voters: 1940-1967

The El Paso League of Women Voters was organized in 1919, previously it was the El Paso Equal Franchise League which was organized in 1915, and was the first women’s suffrage organization in El Paso. The League faded away in the 1940s.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the El Paso League of Women Voters.

African American Suffragists in El Paso

The city had a small yet intensely cohesive African American community that was socially and politically active.

Black women from this community formed their own suffrage league, the El Paso Negro Woman’s Civic and Equal Franchise League (NWCEFL), which became the only African American suffrage organization in the United States to apply for membership in the Texas Equal Suffrage Association (TESA) or the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

CLICK HERE to learn more about the African American Suffragists in El Paso.

How Texas women received right to vote and what role El Paso had

CLICK HERE to learn the history and see the timeline.

Women’s History Month events in El Paso

Click here for events are celebrating women in El Paso.

Other past exhibits on Women’s History Month

The El Paso County Historical Society would like to give a big thank you to Eva Antone Ross, Joseph Longo and Susan Barnum.

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.