Women’s History

The Reason We’re Here

NotableWomen in History

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Louise Dahl-Wolfe
b. 11/19/2022
 - d. 01/01/1970
Her Significance: Photographer for interior decorators in New York and San Francisco, the staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar from 1936 to 1958. She launched the career of 17-year-old actress Lauren Bacall and also worked for Sports Illustrated and Vogue.
Maureen Caird
b. 09/29/2022
 - d. 01/01/1970
Her Significance: An Australian track athlete, who specialized in the sprint hurdles. Her gold medal win at the 1968 Olympics made her the youngest-ever individual Olympic athletics champion at the time.
Malala Yousafzai
b. 07/12/1997
- Still Alive
Her Significance: A Pakistani activist who, while a teenager, spoke out publicly against the prohibition against girls going to school, and gained global attention when she survived an assassination attempt at age 15. In 2014 she was the youngest ever Nobel Prize recipient, in recognition of her efforts on behalf of children’s rights.
Breanna Stewart
b. 08/27/1994
- Still Alive
Her Significance: An Award American basketball power forward. In high school, she was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American. In college her team won four national championships, and she was named the Final Four’s most outstanding player a record four times. After college, she was named  WNBA MVP in 2018 and All-Star in 2017, 2018 and 2021. Professionally, she led the Storm to two championships in 2018 and 2020, and won the WNBA Finals MVP title both times. She is on the list of the top 25 players of the WNBA’s first 25 years.
Emily Seebohm
b. 06/05/1992
- Still Alive
Her Significance: Australian swimmer who has won three Olympic gold medals, five world Championship gold medals and seven Commonwealth Games gold medals. OAM (Order of Australian) Recipient.
Evgeniya Kanaeva
b. 04/02/1990
- Still Alive
Her Significance: Russian gymnast and the only individual rhythmic gymnast in history to win two Olympic all-around gold medals, at the 2008 and the 2012 Summer Olympics, becoming the oldest gymnast to win the Olympic gold. She holds the record for the most World Titles (17) and the most European titles (13), and was presented the Merit for the Fatherland IV Degree by Vladimir Putin
Ninette de Valois
b. 06/06/1989
 - d. 01/01/1970
Her Significance: British ballerina who was a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director of classical ballet. Sheo founded the Royal Ballet  and the touring company which became the Birmingham Royal Ballet. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of ballet and as the “godmother” of English and Irish ballet.
Therese Johaug
b. 06/25/1988
- Still Alive
Her Significance: Norwegian cross-country skier who has won ten individual world championship gold medals and four gold medals in relays and is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. She was suspended for a 18 months after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, but returned to dominate women’s distance competitions until her retirement in 2022.
Angelique Kerber
b. 01/18/1988
- Still Alive
Her Significance: German professional tennis player. Former world No. 1 and winner of three Grand Slam tournaments.
Catalina Ponor
b. 08/20/1987
- Still Alive
Her Significance: A Romanian artistic gymnast who won three gold medals at the 2004 Olympics on balance beam, floor and as part of the Romanian team.

Timeline of Notable Dates In History

March 31, 1776
Abigail Adams famous letter to her husband John Adams, one of the framers of the Declaration of Independence, in which she cautioned him, “Remember the ladies.”
April 26, 1777
American Revolution heroine Sybil Ludington, 16 years old, rode 40 miles on horseback at night in a driving rainstorm, to warn the American militia that the British were coming. Unlike Paul Revere, she evaded capture by the British on her ride.
April 7, 1805
Sacagawea joined the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an interpreter.
July 19, 1848
The Seneca Falls Convention, the country's first women's rights convention, was held in Seneca Falls, New York
July 20, 1848
The Seneca Falls Convention, the country's first women's rights convention, was held in Seneca Falls, New York
November 1, 1848
The first medical school for women, the New England Female Medical School, opened. In 1874 it merges with Boston University to become one of the world's first co-ed medical schools
March 20, 1852
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published and became the best-selling book of the 19th century
February 12, 1869
The Utah Territorial Legislature passed a bill allowing women to vote
December 10, 1869
Wyoming was first territory to give women the right to vote
February 17, 1870
Esther Hobart Morris in Wyoming became the first American woman Justice of the Peace
May 10, 1872
Victoria Woodhull was nominated as the first woman candidate for U.S. president for the Equal Rights Party
June 17, 1873
Susan B. Anthony's trial started for illegally voting on November 5, 1872 in Rochester, New York
July 4, 1876
Suffragists crashed the Centennial Celebration in Independence Hall to present the Vice President with the "Declaration of the Rights of Women" written by Matilda Joselyn Gage
November 28, 1881
The first organizational meeting is held for the predecessor group to the American Association of University Women (AAUW)
March 31, 1888
The National Council of Women of the U.S. was organized by Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe, and Sojourner Truth, among others, the oldest non-sectarian women’s organization in the U.S.
November 14, 1889
Journalist Elizabeth Cochran, aka Nellie Bly, sailed around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds, beating the fictional record set by Phineas Fogg in Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days
January 25, 1890
Nellie Bly, journalist, completed her around the world trip in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days
January 7, 1896
Fanny Farmer’s first cookbook was published in which she standardized cooking measurements
August 23, 1902
Fanny Farmer opened the "School of Cookery" in Boston
March 2, 1903
The Martha Washington Hotel opened in New York City, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women
June 25, 1903
Madame Marie Curie announced her discovery of radium
November 14, 1903
The U.S. Women's Trade Union League was established
October 3, 1904
Mary McLeod Bethune opened her first school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida
March 17, 1910
Camp Fire Girls was established as the first interracial, non-sectarian American organization for girls
September 12, 1910
Alice Stebbins Wells, a former social worker, was the first woman police officer with arrest powers in the U.S. (Los Angeles)
October 23, 1910
Blanche Stuart Scott was the first American woman pilot to make a public flight
November 8, 1910
The state of Washington passed a constitutional amendment to guarantee woman suffrage
April 5, 1911
100,000 to 500,000 people marched in New York City to attend the funeral of seven unidentified victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in late March. Of the 500 women and children who worked in those dangerous overcrowding and sweatshop conditions, 146 died in the fire. This was the beginning of modern building, fire and safety codes in the United States.
February 24, 1912
Henrietta Szold founded Hadassah, the largest Jewish organization in American history, focusing on healthcare and education in the Israel and the U.S.
March 12, 1912
Juliette Gordon Low brought eighteen girls together in Savannah, Georgia, for the first-ever Girl Scout meeting
April 16, 1912
Harriet Quimby was the first woman to make a solo flight across the English Channel.
March 3, 1913
Over 8,000 women gathered at the Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, to demand a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote
June 11, 1913
Women in Illinois celebrated passage of a state woman suffrage bill allowing women to vote in presidential elections
May 8, 1914
President Woodrow Wilson signed a Proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day
October 16, 1916
Margaret Sanger opened the U.S.'s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York
March 4, 1917
Jeannette Rankin took her seat as the first female member of Congress
March 17, 1917
Loretta Perfectus Walsh became the first woman to join the navy and the first woman to officially join the military in a role other than a nurse
March 23, 1917
Virginia Woolf established the Hogarth Press with her husband, Leonard Woolf
July 14, 1917
Sixteen women from the National Women's Party were arrested while picketing the White House demanding universal women's suffrage; they were charged with obstructing traff
August 26, 1920
The 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified granting women the right to vote; it is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day
February 15, 1921
The Suffrage Monument, depicting Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott, sculpted by Adelaide Johnson, was dedicated at the U.S. Capitol
June 20, 1921
Alice Robertson ((R-Oklahoma) was the first woman to chair the House of Representatives
February 27, 1922
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees women the right to vote
January 5, 1925
Nellie Taylor Ross was inaugurated as the first woman Governor in U.S. history (Governor of Wyoming)
January 29, 1926
Violette Neatly Anderson was the first black woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court
April 2, 1931
17-year-old Jackie Mitchell, the second woman to play baseball in the all-male minor leagues, pitched an exhibition game against the N.Y. Yankees and struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. A few days later, in public outrage over this, baseball commissioner Landis voided her contract, saying women were unfit to play baseball as the game was “too strenuous.” The ban was not overturned until 1992
January 12, 1932
Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-Arkansas) was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, becomes the first woman to chair a Senate Committee and the first to serve as the Senate’s presiding officer
May 21, 1932
Amelia Earhart Putnam was the first woman to complete a solo-transatlantic flight, flying 2,026 miles from Newfoundland to Ireland in under 15 hours
March 4, 1933
Frances Perkins became Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet
April 13, 1933
Ruth Bryan Owens was the first woman to represent the U.S. as a foreign minister when she was appointed envoy to Denmark.
January 11, 1935
Amelia Earhart made the first solo flight from Hawaii to North America
December 5, 1935
Mary McLeod Bethune created the National Council of Negro Women
July 2, 1937
Amelia Earhart's plane was lost in the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island
May 5, 1938
Dr. Dorothy H. Andersen presented results of her medical research identifying the disease cystic fibrosis at a meeting of the American Pediatric Association
November 13, 1938
Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini was beatified, the first American woman citizen to become a saint
December 10, 1938
Pearl S. Buck received Nobel Prize for Literature for The Good Earth
April 9, 1939
The famed African-American contralto, Marian Anderson performed at an Easter Sunday concert for more than 75,000 at Lincoln Memorial. She had been scheduled to sing at Washington’s Constitution Hall, but the Daughters of the American Revolution, who managed the hall, refused to let her sing in their hall when they learned she was black. As a result, the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned from the DAR in protest, and asked Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, greatly increasing public awareness of the problems of racial discrimination.
December 7, 1941
Capt. Annie Fox received the first Purple Heart awarded to a woman for her service while under attack at Pearl Harbor
July 20, 1942
The first class of Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) began at Fort Des Moines, IA
May 29, 1943
“Rosie the Riveter” by Norman Rockwell appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post
November 14, 1946
Emily Greene Balch, co-founder of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
October 15, 1948
Dr. Frances L. Willoughby was the first woman doctor in the regular U.S. Navy
January 3, 1949
Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) started her tenure in the Senate, where she stayed in office until 1973, becoming the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate as she previously served in the House (1940-49)
June 9, 1949
Georgia Neese Clark confirmed as the first woman treasurer of the U.S.
May 1, 1950
Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, named Library of Congress’s Consultant in Poetry (later called Poet Laureate) in 1985
February 15, 1953
Tenley Albright became the first American woman to win the World Figure Skating championship
January 7, 1955
Marian Anderson was the first African American woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera
December 1, 1955
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person; her arrest sparked the modern civil rights movement in the United States
October 24, 1956
Reverend Margaret Towner was the first woman ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church
July 6, 1957
Althea Gibson was the first African American woman player to win a Wimbledon title in women's tennis singles
October 28, 1958
Mary Roebling was the first woman director of a stock exchange (American Stock Exchange)
December 14, 1961
President's Commission on the Status of Women was established to examine discrimination against women and ways to eliminate it
June 10, 1963
Equal Pay Act enacted: "To prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce." (PL 88-
August 28, 1963
More than 250,000 gathered for a march on Washington, DC, and listened to Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I Have a Dream" speech
July 2, 1964
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act; Title VII prohibited sex discrimination in employment
September 14, 1964
Helen Keller receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom along with four other women: Dr. Lena Edwards, Lynn Fontainne, Dr. Helen Taussig, and Leontyne Price
August 6, 1965
The Voting Rights Act outlawed discriminatory literacy tests that were used to prevent African Americans from voting. Suffrage was finally fully extended to African American women
February 24, 1967
Jocelyn Bell Burnell made the first discovery of a pulsar, a rapidly rotating neutron star
December 28, 1967
Muriel Siebert became first woman to own a seat on the N.Y. Stock Exchange
May 12, 1968
A 12-block Mother’s Day march of “welfare mothers” was held in Washington, D.C., led by Coretta Scott King and accompanied by Ethel Kennedy
August 8, 1969
Executive order 11478 was issued by President Nixon. It required each federal department and agency to establish and maintain an affirmative action program of equal employment opportunity for civilian employees and applicants
May 15, 1970
Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington officially received their ranks as U.S. Army Generals, becoming the first women to do so
August 26, 1970
Betty Friedan led a nationwide protest called the Women's Strike for Equality in New York City on the fiftieth anniversary of women's suffrage
August 26, 1971
The first "Women's Equality Day," instituted by Bella Abzug, is established by Presidential Proclamation and is reaffirmed annually
September 26, 1971
Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York) announced she will enter the Democratic presidential primaries
June 23, 1972
President Nixon signed one of the most important legislation initiatives passed for women and girls since women won the vote in 1920; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This legislation guarantees equal access and equal opportunity for females and males in almost all aspects of our educational systems.
August 12, 1972
Wendy Rue founded the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), the largest businesswomen's organization in the US
May 21, 1973
Lynn Genesko, a swimmer, received the first athletic scholarship awarded to a woman (University of Miami)
September 20, 1973
Billie Jean King defeated Bobby "No-Broad-Can-Beat-Me" Riggs in the battle of the sexes tennis match
September 26, 1973
Capt. Lorraine Potter, an American Baptist minister, was the first woman U.S. Air Force chaplain
September 14, 1975
Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized and the first American-born saint. She founded the first U.S. Order of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph
August 26, 1976
The official "Exoneration Of Anne Hutchinson Day." Banished by the Massachusetts General Court in 1637, this early American Fore-Mother was exonerated in a Proclamation by then Governor Michael Dukakis
October 4, 1976
Barbara Walters became the first woman co-anchor of the evening news (at ABC)
January 8, 1977
Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray was the first African American woman ordained to the Episcopal priesthood, by Bishop William F. Creighton at Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
April 19, 1977
Fifteen women in the House of Representatives formed the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.
May 29, 1977
Janet Guthrie was the first woman to qualify for and complete the Indy 500 car race.
February 1, 1978
The first postage stamp to honor a black woman, Harriet Tubman, was issued in Washington, DC
July 2, 1979
The Susan B. Anthony dollar was released
November 11, 1979
Bethune Museum and Archives opened in Washington D.C. as a center for African-American women's history, honoring Mary McLeod Bethune
January 25, 1980
Mary Decker became the first woman to run a mile under 4 1/2 minutes, running it at 4:17.55

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History of Room 23 & 23A

Many non-profits in Mesquite lease space in the 150 N. Yucca campus, including the Women’s History and Culture Center (WHCC), which is located in Rooms 23/23A. The history of Rooms 23/23A is proof that a building, like a person, can get better with age.

For years, the Mesquite Art Council (MAC) leased the Room 23/23A area as a single room, Room 23.

They partitioned Room 23 into three areas: (1) the MAC office and supply room, (2) a Festival of Trees supply room, and (3) a Conference Room for MAC use, as well as other non-profit groups including the Cowboy Poets.

Because the MAC conference room was idle most of the time, MAC requested Room 23 be split into two leased entities, with Room 23 housing their office and Festival of Trees supplies, and their conference room re-named as Room 23A, to be leased by another non-profit group.

The Mesquite Showgirls were the first tenants of Room 23A. With a new coat of paint, Room 23A served as their office and staging area, filled with rolling racks and wall storage from floor to ceiling, to house their growing costume inventory.

When the Mesquite Showgirls costume inventory out-grew Room 23A, they relocated to Room 19, doubling their costume and headpiece storage capacity and streamlining their operation. This freed up Room 23A for lease by another non-profit.

On the Room 23 side, MAC relocated the Festival of Trees supplies in Room 23 to Room 16, and the rest of their supplies to board members’ homes. By changing their monthly meeting locations to board members’ homes, they were able to free up Room 23 for lease by another non-profit.

Room 23 and Room 23A were then recombined into one leased entity, and became the first home of the Women’s History and Culture Center (WHCC).

To build WHCC, everything in 23/23A had to be torn down, removed or replaced. In less than a. year, the center had new floors, repainted walls, new furnishings, and a fully stocked kitchen.

Room 23/23A is now a bustling center of activity, hosting a wide array of services, from independent study to public events by their mural on N. Willow.

The WHYCC facility consists of: (1) a combination library/conference/training room, (2) the WHCC office, and (3) a tea room for informal gatherings.

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