MARCH: Irish-American heritage, 50 years of ‘Music,’ women’s history & spring

Cluster of green three-leaf plants, some with drops of water on them

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

MARCH 2015—Sprigs of green are popping up as the first signs of spring emerge—and just in time, as spring officially begins on March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere. Seeing green won’t be hard in even the coldest regions this month, though, because St. Patrick’s Day brings its revelry and accompanying Irish-American Heritage Month in March. The saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, so early this month, stay indoors with something creative for National Craft Month; later this month, go outside to stretch your legs for Kite Month.

Ireland may take center stage through most of March, but this year, hop over a few countries to Austria—it’s the 50th anniversary of the film release of The Sound of Music, and the movie will be re-released in March. Even for those who can’t make it to the year-long extravaganza in Salzburg can pay homage to their local music programs, as March is Music in Our Schools Month. Also in March, encourage children for Youth Art Month and the birthday of the famous Dr. Seuss—on March 2.

Women’s history makes its mark in March, and don’t forget to recognize the American Red Cross, too. Plant seedlings for a garden and kick-start better health this month, because March is Nutrition Month.

Check out these month-long highlights …

IRISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

Corned beef, shepherd’s pie and St. Patrick shape just a portion of the Irish culture honored this month, as the United States commemorates Irish-American Heritage Month. Proclaimed yearly by the United States President or Congress, Irish-American Heritage Month honors the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants: Nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, more than 20 of George Washington’s generals and 253 Medal of Honor recipients, just to name a few. Surveys show that the number of U.S. residents who currently claim Irish ancestry is approximately 34 million—more than seven times the entire population of Ireland. On St. Patrick’s Day at the White House, the Shamrock Ceremony and St. Patrick’s Day Reception honor the many contribution of Irish Americans to United States culture and history.

MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS
& THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Sheet music booklet with page being turned

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The role of music in education takes center stage in March, with Music in Our Schools Month. In Wayne Baker’s recent series, Kids & Success, he asked: Could music be the key skill for success in today’s world? When budget cuts threaten school music programs, the National Association for Music Education points out the incredible value of music—and ways to incorporate it across the curriculum. For 30 years, March has been deemed Music in Our Schools Month, but this year’s celebration incorporates another landmark anniversary: the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music, the film that nabbed five Oscars and two Golden Globes and became a cultural phenomenon. With a yearlong tribute taking place in Salzburg and a 50th Anniversary Festival in June, The Sound of Music will be re-released into theaters in April. This month, 20th Century Fox will re-release the home entertainment version.

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia highlight the contributions of women during the month of March, as part of Women’s History Month. Globally recognized on March 8—International Women’s Day—women’s impact on history and world culture are recognized at events, in schools and by municipalities. International Women’s Day draws back to 1911, but the U.S. did not observe a month-long commemoration until 1987. This year, the theme for National Women’s History Month is: “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”

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