Important Dates in Women’s History

"I shall be honored until my dying breath at being an activist on the playing field of equal opportunity."
Billy Jean King, 1999

Women have achieved a great deal through hard work and perseverance. We celebrate their achievements with these important dates. As we learn more this list will grow.

1777 - Women lose the right to vote in New York

1780 - Women lose the right to vote in Massachusetts

1784 - Women lose the right to vote in New Hampshire

1807 - Women lose the right to vote in New Jersey

1837 - Mount Holyoke College is founded for women

1847 – Maria Mitchell, first American woman astronomer discovers a new comet

1848 – first Women’s rights convention held in New York

1850 - Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded

1861 – Julia Ward Howe write the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

1864Sojourner Truth visits President Lincoln at the White House

1871 - Smith College is founded

1872 - Susan B. Anthony is arrested for attempting to vote

1872 - Victoria Woodhull was selected by the Equal Rights Party to be its candidate in the 1872 Presidential election

1881 – Clara Barton established the American Red Cross

1891 - 1893 Lydia Lilluokalani reigns as Queen of Hawaii

1893 – New Zealand women won the right to vote

1894 - Johns Hopkins Medical School admits women

1904 – Helen Keller graduates from Radcliffe

1910 - Women are allowed to vote in Washington

1911 - Women are allowed to vote in California

1912 - Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona allow women the right to vote

1912 – Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) founded in America

1917 – Jeannette Rankin first woman to be elected to the US Congress

1917 - Women picked the White House demanding the right to vote

1920 – The 19th Amendment is ratified giving United States women  the right to vote

1932 - Frances Perkins is appointed Secretary of Labor becoming the first woman to be appointed to the Cabinet

1932 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate

1940 - Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was elected to the Senate in 1948 becoming the first woman to be elected to serve in both houses.

1946 – Eleanor Roosevelt elected Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Commission

1964 - Margaret Chase Smith of Maine became the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for the U.S. Presidency at a major party's convention.

1966 - National Organization for Women is founded

1968 – Shirley Chisholm is first African American woman elected to Congress

1969 - National Women's Hall of Fame is created in Seneca Falls, NY

1972 - Shirley Chisholm became the first woman and the first African-American to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States

1972 - Title IX of the Higher Education Act is approved opening doors for women athletes

1972 – Gloria Steinem founds Ms. Magazine

1973 – Barbara Jordan becomes the first African American woman from a southern state to serve in the Congress

1981- Congress approves a resolution creating Women's History Week

1981 - Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in as the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first woman to fly in space

1984 - Geraldine Ferraro is nominated as the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major political party

1987 - Women's History Week is expanded when March becomes Women's History Month

1988 - Jackie Joyner Kersee wins two Olympic Gold medals

1990 - Oprah Winfrey becomes first woman to own an produce her own syndicated television show

1993 – Dr. Jocelyn Elders becomes U.S. Surgeon General 

1993 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

1994 - Violence Against Women Act is passed

1996 - Madeline Albright is appointed as the first woman Secretary of State

2000 - Hillary Clinton becomes first former first lady elected Senator 

2004 - Sophia Coppola becomes the first American woman to be awarded an Academy Award for Best Director


More Milestones in Women's History

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