March is, I believe, a generally well-regarded month – at least in the United States. The last gasps of winter have (hopefully) come and gone, spring and summer are in clear view and there aren’t any major obligations in the near future. It’s also a month of holidays and celebrations, including these three that we at RoamRight love to observe.
March 8 – International Women’s Day
Believe it or not, this widely observed holiday has a long history; it started back in 1908 in the United States. The original reason for the day was to promote women’s rights, especially the right to vote, in nations around the world. The first international holiday was in 1911 when hundreds of demonstrations were held around the U.S. and Europe to promote the rights of women everywhere.
The holiday became truly popular in the 1970s when the United Nations proclaimed March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace. Today it’s an important time to not just recognize the remarkable work done by women around the world, but to continue to fight for equal rights, most notably equal pay in the workplace.
March 9 – National Passport Day
Purely an American observation and not even a real holiday, this twice a year event was started by the U.S. Department of State in order to make applying for and receiving a passport easier for everyone. Held on a Saturday to make it more convenient for people who work during the week, U.S. citizens can forgo the required appointment and simply stop by their local passport agency to sign up or renew their passport.
So if you need to renew your passport, or get your first one, this is a great time to get started on the road to international travel. Be forewarned though, since no appointments are necessary there might be a wait so be sure to arrive early in order to get a good spot in line and be certain you have all the required documents
March 9 – Daylight Savings Time
Not a holiday per se, this annual “Spring Forward” is eagerly anticipated by anyone who likes a little more sunshine in their lives. The history of daylight savings time goes all the way back to 19th century New Zealand and while the U.S. experimented with it a few times in the early-mid 20th century, it wasn’t until 1975 when nationwide, year-round daylight savings time was put into practice. The concern had to do with energy consumption, particularly during the OPEC oil embargo, but significant societal effects were taken into consideration as well. States have the option of exempting themselves from observing daylight savings time and currently two states, Arizona and Hawaii, do not change their clocks at all.
These are just a few of the special events taking place in March – do you know of any others?