The month of March is designated to acknowledge and commemorate the many great achievements made by women. This month-long celebration is also used to inspire and encourage the next generation of female history makers.

In 1982, Congress requested that President Ronald Reagan declare Women’s History Week as the second week in March. The idea of expanding this to Women’s History Month was petitioned to Congress by the National Women’s History Alliance in 1987.

Lottie Holman O’Neill, a Republican, was the first woman elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1922. She served a total of 40 years, and her service has been commemorated with a statue in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol.

The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus was the first caucus in Illinois to elect a woman to its highest position, with former Senator Christine Radogno serving as Minority Leader from 2009 until 2017. The women of the caucus continue to work to pass important legislation, from advancing the state’s energy sector to protecting the rights of citizens and families.

For ways to celebrate women-owned business in Illinois, visit the Enjoy Illinois website at

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