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Kicking Off Women’s History Month with a Timeline of Suffrage Success

Women's History

March is a Celebration of Women’s History

Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California in 1978. A decade later, in 1987, Congress designated the month of March as Women’s History Month. To kickoff Women’s History Month, let’s look at the courageous efforts of women in U.S. history.

Suffrage Success in the 18th & 19th Centuries

  • March 31, 1776
    • Abigail Adams tells her husband, John Adams, to “remember the ladies” while drafting the constitution. 
  • July 19-20, 1848
    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organize the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention. 
  • January 23, 1849
    • Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female graduate from Medical school and the first female doctor in the United States. 
  • 1850
    • The first National Women’s Rights Convention takes place in Massachusetts. 
  • December 10, 1869
    • Wyoming becomes the first state to pass a women’s suffrage law. 
  • On May 15, 1869
    • The National Woman Suffrage Association is founded.

Twentieth Century Triumphs

  • 1903
    • The National Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) is established to advocate for adequate wages and working conditions for women.
  • October 16, 1916
    • Margaret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic.
  • April 2, 1917
    • Jeannette Rankin becomes the first Congresswoman.
  • August 18, 1920
    • The 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote.
  • June 10, 1963
    • The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination.
  • January 22, 1973
    • In the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, the U. S. Supreme Court declares the Constitution must protect a woman’s right to abortion.

As of March 2020,

  • Congress along with the Democratic Presidential candidates are the most diverse they’ve ever been.
  • Internationally, Saudi women now have the right to drive.

The timeline of women’s history will never end. However, it proves that resistance through perseverance can create positive change. Although women around the world continue to face hurdles for basic rights every day, we remain stronger together. Women can literally do anything. We stand together and create history.

Ariel Zhou

Ariel is a student at Vestavia Hills High School and a member of the Springboarders program.

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