In 1971, Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day, over a century after the start of the Women’s Rights Movement.
Still struggling for equal rights, pay, and more, women of history have fought their blood, sweat and tears to make America a place that women can feel comfortable in. Here’s a peak at the past 100 years of monumental moments in women history.
(1848 – 1920) Women’s Rights Movement
The Women’s Rights Movement began in 1848, sparking a nearly decade long fight for gender equality in familial responsibilities, more opportunities in education and career, as well as political voice.
(1916) First Woman elected into congress
Jeanette Rankin was elected to serve into the House of Representatives, serving a two-year term as Montana’s Representative-at-large.
(1917 – 1918) Women in the military
During the last two years of World War I, women were permitted to join the military as nurses and support staff. Over 400 women lost their lives while serving during this time period.
(1919 – 1920) 19th Amendment
On June 4, 1919 Congress passed the bill that allowed women the right to vote, ending the Women’s Rights Movement and women suffrage.
(1925) First woman governor
Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman to serve as governor, serving a two-year term in Wyoming.
(1933) First woman in the U.S. Cabinet
On January 25, 1933 Francis Perkins was sworn in as the first woman to hold Secretary of Labor.
(1943 – 1954) First women in baseball
In 1943, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was created as a means to keep baseball in tact while many of the players were serving in WWII.
(1960) The pill
Thanks to the hard work of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, Endocrinologist Gregory Pincus and biologist Katherine McCormick, Enovid is the first approved birth control pill available for contraceptive.
(1963) Equal Pay Act
On June 10, 1963, John F. Kennedy signed a law eradicating wage discrepancies based on the sex of the worker.
(1963) First Woman in Space
On June 16, 1963 Russian astronaut, Valentina Tereshkova, became the first woman in space on flight Vostok 6.
(1964) Sex discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes as means to end sex discrimination in the workplace.
(1968) First African American woman elected into Congress
Shirley Chisholm makes history by becoming the first African American woman to hold a seat in the House of Representatives.
(1972) Equal Rights Amendment
First proposed by the females in the Women’s Rights Movement in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment is passed on March 22, 1972, stating “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”
(1973) Roe vs. Wade
After three years, the Supreme Court rules in favor of abortion, noting that abortion is a “fundamental right” under the constitution.
(1981) First woman in the U.S. Supreme Court
Being denied by over 40 law firms early in her career, Sandra Day O’Connor breaks gender boundaries by becoming the first woman elected into the U.S. Supreme Court on July 7, 1981.
(1984) First woman to run for Vice President
Although she was not successful, Geraldine Ferraro placed her name into history books by becoming the first female Vice Presidential candidate.
(1993) First female Attorney General
Janet Reno not only was the first lady to serve as Attorney General, she also held the second longest term of any of her predecessors, serving eight total years.
(1997) First woman Secretary of State
Elected during the Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright served her title as the first female Secretary of State for nearly 20 years.
(2005) First African American woman as Secretary of State
Shortly after Albright’s departure, Condoleezza Rice becomes the first African American woman in her position at the White House.
(2012) Highest amount of women in Congress
Breaking the 1992 record, 2012 saw more than 100 women elected into the Senate and House of Representatives, including a wonderful mix of ethnicity’s.
(2014) Equal Pay Act revisited
In April 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order to avoid workplace discrimination and protect women when negotiating equal pay.
(2015) Marriage Equality
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage through-out the nation, allowing women (and men) to marry whoever they choose.