Women's Hall of Fame welcomes 25 achievers

September 23, 1994|By Clara G. Herrera | Clara G. Herrera,Fort Worth Star-Telegram

When Susan Lowell Butler, 50, was a schoolgirl, she didn't know about the roles women played in America's history. They were seldom discussed in the classes she took.

Now, as executive director of the National Women's Hall of Fame, Ms. Butler is trying to make up for that.

Tomorrow, 25 women will be inducted into the hall of fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y. An additional 82 women have already been honored there.

"When I was growing up, I never heard about women's history. It's not in the history books," Ms. Butler said. "We're trying to make up for that gap. The hall of fame is a way to bring about the awareness of women's accomplishments."

Few people have probably heard of Muriel Siebert, the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, or Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in the United States. Both will be inducted this week.

Oprah Winfrey, the talk show host, and Antonia Novello, the first Hispanic-American and woman to be named the U.S. Surgeon General, will also be inducted.

This year, more than 200 women were nominated. Women are chosen based on the contribution and value of their achievements in society and their significant role in the arts, athletics, business, government, philanthropy, the humanities, science or education.

This year's inductees include:

* Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman nominated by a major party for vice president of the United States.

* Zora Neale Hurston, a Harlem Renaissance novelist, folklorist and preserver of African-American folk customs.

* Wilma Rudolph, the first American woman and African-American woman to win three Olympic gold medals in track and field.

* Bella Abzug, a member of Congress, an attorney and human-rights leader.

* Betty Bone Schiess, who was among the first group of women to be ordained as Episcopal priests in the United States.

* Grace Hopper, a Navy Admiral, computer science pioneer and inventor.

* Linda Richards, the first professionally trained American nurse.

* Annie Jump Cannon, an astronomer who developed the stellar classification system.

* Suzette La Flesche, a leader for Native American rights, an artist and an author.

* Ella Baker, a leader and organizer in the civil-rights movement.

* Myra Bradwell, a pioneer for women in the legal profession.

* Jane Cunningham Croly, a founder of women's groups and a journalist.

* Catherine East, a contemporary women's rights leader.

* Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a reformer for the women's rights movement and author.

* Helen Hunt, a philanthropist and women's funding pioneer.

* Anne Hutchinson, an early free speech and freedom of religion advocate.

* Frances Wisebart Jacobs, a welfare worker and charity group organizer whose work led to the creation of the United Way.

* Louise McManus, who established nursing training in colleges and universities.

* Nettie Stevens, a theoretical scientist, biologist and educator.

* Sarah Winnemucca, author, educator and Native American rights leader.

* Fanny Wright, a human rights reformer and author.

For more information, call (315) 568-8060 or write the National Women's Hall of Fame at 76 Fall St., Seneca Falls, N.Y. 13148.

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