217: The Self-Empowered Woman: Did You Know?

 As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I thought I would share a few “reminders” about the progress we’ve made, and the changes that have come our way. So, did you know that…
  • Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to get a medical degree in America in 1849.
  • Fifteen years later, Rebecca Lee Crunpler became the first African-American woman to receive a medical degree.
  • In 1872, Victoria Claflin Woodhull became the first female presidential candidate as a member of the Radical Reformerist Party.
  • In 1874, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling that women should be denied the right to vote.
  • Madame CJ Walker became the first African-American female millionaire by developing hair products and employing 3,000 workers in 1905.
  • Mary Davenport-Engberg became the first woman to conduct a symphony orchestra in Bellingham, Washington in 1914.
  • In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • In 1932, the Federal Economy Act forbade more than one member of the same family from working for the government. This law was enforced until 1937, and caused many woman to lose their jobs.
  • The first woman to serve as a Director of a major American company (Coca-Cola) was Lettie Pate Whitehead in 1934.
  • In 1947, the Supreme Court ruled that women could serve on juries.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that married couples could use birth control in 1965.
  • Sally Ride became the first woman in space in 1983.
  • In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that in order for schools to receive Title IX funding, equal numbers of men and women must participate in sports.
  • Mothers are now the top earners in 40 percent of U.S. households. In 1960, that number was only 11 percent.
  • In 2013, 19.7 percent of Fortune 500 Companies had 25 percent or more women executive officers–in 2012, the number was 20.1 percent.
  • Experts estimate that American women make or influence 80 percent of all consumer spending decisions.
Looking forward to your comments…
About Marilyn Murray Willison

The author of six non-fiction books, Willison worked as Health and Fitness Editor at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and wrote book reviews, health, beauty, fashion, and travel articles on a regular basis for the Los Angeles Times. Her byline has appeared in a wide variety of American newspapers and magazines.