History of Women
POSTED April 14, 2021
March is Women’s History Month, an annual celebration of women’s contributions to history, society, and culture. It first began as International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8th and then became “Women’s History Week” in 1978 in Santa Rosa, California. During March 1980, President Jimmy Carter formally dedicated the week of March 8th for celebrating Women’s History week but by 1987, Congress declared the entire month of March Women’s History Month.
There are numerous women of all ages from all walks of life that have impacted our world, and many have become historical figures worthy of recognition.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1869)
- The National Women’s Suffrage Movement was created by both of these women and their work is still creating an impact to this day. They both edited and published a woman’s newspaper, the Revolution, from 1868-1870. They strongly paved the way towards the 19th Amendment to bring equality to women for them to be able to vote.
Claudette Colvin (1955)
- 9 months before Rosa Parks would do the same, Claudette Colvin decided to not give up her seat, yet she was a teenager when she took action. At age 15, she was arrested for violating Montgomery, Alabama Segregation Laws and pleaded not guilty. Colvin being one who we may not give recognition to as much as other women still took a big risk in doing what she believed was right. She is one out of many who have changed the ways of our society.
Hedy Lamarr (1942)
- Women can definitely excel in multiple fields and Hedy Lamarr proved that in her lifetime. From acting to inventing she took on a lot but both works paid off. Lamarr is famously known as “The Most Beautiful Woman in Film” and was the most popular actress of her day. Lamarr also had a sharp mind and developed a new method of “frequency hopping” a technique for disguising radio transmissions by making the signal jump between different channels in a prearranged pattern. “Their “Secret Communication System” was created to combat Nazis during World War ll, but the U.S. Navy ignored their findings. It wasn’t until years later that other inventors realized how groundbreaking the work was. If you use a smartphone today, you can thank Lamarr—her communication system was a precursor to wireless technologies including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.” (History.com)
Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rae Rivera (1970)
- These women are two of the most important transgender women and powerful activists in the LGBTQ community. They both co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, also known as STAR, as well as fought for the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in New York. They both have inspired many people in fighting for what they believe in and being true to themselves.
Sandra Day O’Connor (1981)
- From 1981 to her retirement in 2006, Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be sworn in by president Ronald Reagan to become the first woman associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Since then we have only had three other women join the Supreme Court and we hope to have more in the future.
Kamala Harris (2021)
- Kamala Harris became the first woman and first woman of color Vice President of the United States. Prior to becoming Vice President, she was the district attorney of San Francisco in 2003, attorney general for California in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, as well as served as a junior United States senator from California from 2017 to 2021.
Billie Jean King (1973)
- Earning 39 Grand Slam titles, Billie Jean King is one of the best professional tennis players of all time. With a prize of $100,000 and to advocate equal prize money for women on the tennis court, she competed in the “Battle of the Sexes” defeating Bobby Riggs.
Kalpana Chawla (1997)
- As a kid Kalpana Chawla always wanted to become an astronaut. She attended multiple universities and programs and later became the first Indian origin woman to go to space. Her first flight was on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. On her second mission in 2003, just 16 minutes from landing, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during its re-entry into earth’s atmosphere.
All women have a powerful strength within them and we can see how many have used that power for the good to provide leadership for the people around them and themselves. “We celebrate Women’s History Month to remind ourselves of the accomplishments of women throughout the years to our culture and society. From activists to astronauts, it is a chance to reflect on the trailblazing women who lead the way for change.” (People.com)