Sojourner Truth delivers her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech at a women’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio. The former slave spent 40 years of her life preaching a message of equality for all people.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony organize the National Woman Suffrage Association to fight for women’s rights, especially the right to vote. More than a century later, Anthony was honored when the U.S. Mint created a coin using her image.
After 72 years of struggle, women win the right to vote with the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Shortly afterwards, the League of Women Voters is formed to push for more reforms.
About 350,000 women serve in the armed forces during World War II. Many more provide support services. About 100,000 of those women serve in the U.S. Navy as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman elected to Congress. Four years later, the New Yorker became the first black person to run for President in the Democratic primaries.
Congress passes the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), 49 years after it was first introduced! ERA calls for equal rights for both men and women. However, a constitutional amendment requires both Congress’ and the states’ approval, and the measure later failed when too few states approved it.
A federal law known as Title IX ensures equal funding for both male and female sports in schools. As a result, women and girls have more opportunities to participate in sports. In fact, many female Olympic athletes say Title IX gave them the opportunity to attend college, participate in sports, and receive athletic scholarships.
Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. At the time, just six percent of all federal judges were women.
Sally Ride becomes America’s first female astronaut when she spends six days in space. Today, about 25 percent of NASA’s astronauts are women.
Young women make their mark in the music industry. Singer, songwriter and piano whiz Alicia Keys took home five Grammy Awards in 2002, and four more in 2005. Piano-playing singer and songwriter Norah Jones and her album Come Away with Me snagged eight Grammys in 2003. Jones won three more of music’s biggest awards in 2005.
Hillary Clinton becomes the first First Lady to be elected to public office. She joins Congress as a U.S. Senator from New York.
Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State on January 21, 2009. As the President’s top advisor on foreign policy, Clinton is the most powerful woman in President Obama’s Cabinet. She is also one of the most powerful women in the world! Clinton is the third woman to hold the important position.
What role has Girl Scouts had throughout history? Check out our amazing history here.