Updated: Mar 10
When tracing the timeline of women's history, the profound marks that notable trailblazers have left on society are distinct, and throughout the month of March they are commemorated. In our continued celebration of the accomplishments of women, we are mapping culture-shifting milestones and the women that sparked them. Here are 4 significant "firsts" of women's history.
"A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman" --- Melinda Gates, American Philanthropist
The First Women's Convention -- (1848)
Led by one significant feminist pioneer, Elizabeth Cody Stanton, the first women's convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. At the Seneca Falls Convention, which would mark the start of the first feminist movement, Stanton openly spoke about female opppression, sociopolitical and economic obstacles, and the role of women in society.
First Women Elected to the House of Representatives -- (1916)
In 1916, Republican Jeannette Rankin made history as the first congresswoman in the United States House of Representatives. As a firm supporter of women's suffrage, Rankin was a lifelong advocate for women across the country.
"Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." --- G.D. Anderson, Feminism Activist
First Black Congresswoman -- (1969)
Nearly sixty years after the first woman was elected to the House of Representatives, Shirley Chisholm became the first Black congresswoman in 1969. Although her career path began with teaching, she then moved onto become the director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center, and later on an educational consultant to the Bureau of Child Welfare. Her career in Congress ran for fourteen years.
First Woman Elected to the Supreme Court -- (1981)
Nominated by former President Ronald Regan in 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Her nomination caused controversy within American politics, but was confirmed by a 99-0 vote in the senate. O'Connor held her position as Associate Justice from 1981 until 2006, serving for 25 years.
"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception." --- Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Former Supreme Court Justice