Milestones on the march to equality

For The Record

April 02, 2000|By Tamara Ikenberg and Andrea Diconi | Tamara Ikenberg and Andrea Diconi,Sun Staff

The feminist Expo 2000 brings more than 350 speakers to town this weekend. To refresh your memory of the Movement, we present a feminist time line highlighting notable stops on the ride to equality:

1848: First Women's Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

1849: English-born Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States. She attended Geneva Medical College in Syracuse, N.Y.

1865: Vassar Female College opens in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

1868: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony begin publishing the women's movement periodical, The Revolution.

1875: Hoop skirts go out of fashion in the United States. Bustles come into vogue.

1892: Vogue magazine starts its reign as a New York society weekly.

1892: Women's Studies is introduced into the college curriculum with a University of Kansas class named "Status of Women in the United States."

1902: The brassiere is invented by French fashion designer Charles Debevoise. It picks up steam after elastic is introduced in 1914.

1903: Marie Curie is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. She is honored, along with her husband, Pierre, for isolating radium.

1916: In Brooklyn, Margaret Sanger and her sister Ethel Byrne, open the first U.S. birth control clinic, only to have it shut down 10 days later.

Jeannette Rankin becomes the first woman elected to Congress.

1919: Edith Wilson, wife of President Woodrow Wilson, prevents the media from reporting his debilitating stroke and secretly assumes his position. She is labeled the "first woman president."

1920: Women get the right to vote when the 19th amendment is ratified.

1930: Virginia Woolf asserts a woman's need for independence in her landmark book "A Room of One's Own."

1935: "Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies" by Margaret Mead makes people think twice about gender stereotypes.

1942: During World War II, Rosie the Riveter becomes a national symbol as women with no previous out-of-home work experience take over male-oriented tasks in factories and shipyards.

1945: The jobs slip away from women as the men return. However, the number of women in the work force never falls back to prewar levels.

1950: Harvard Law School admits women.

1951: "I Love Lucy" makes its premiere.

1953: Alfred C. Kinsey publishes "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female."

American pilot Jacqueline Cochran is the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1959: Lorraine Hansberry wins the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for "A Raisin in the Sun," the first play written by a black woman to play on Broadway.

1960: The Chanel suit hits the fashion scene.

The Food and Drug Administration approves Enovid-10, the first commercially available oral contraceptive.

1961: Billie Jean King holds the women's record for winning the most Wimbledon titles.

1963: As president of the Washington Post Co., Katherine Graham becomes the only female head of a Fortune 500 company.

Betty Friedan's book on the frustration of American women, "The Feminine Mystique," is published.

1964: The U.S. Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion or national origin, passes.

1966: The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded in the U.S. Friedan is president.

1967: Compact microwave ovens find their way into the American kitchen.

Muriel Siebert becomes the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shirley Chisholm of New York becomes the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1968: Figure skater Peggy Fleming is the only U.S. athlete to bring home a gold medal from the Winter Olympics.

1970: Kate Millett publishes "Sexual Politics," denouncing American society as an obvious, oppressive patriarchy.

1971: In Malibu, Calif., dancer Jacki Sorensen conducts the first aerobic dance class.

Hot pants become a provocative fashion statement.

1972: The Equal Rights Amendment, which forbids discrimination based on sex, is passed by Congress. It has yet to be ratified by the 38 states needed to pass it into law.

Ms. magazine begins publication with Gloria Steinem as editor.

1973: The title Ms. is accepted by the U.S. Government Printing Office Stylebook.

Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade invalidates state laws prohibiting abortion for women up to six months pregnant.

1981: Sandra Day O'Connor is the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.

1983: Sally Ride boards the space shuttle Challenger as America's first female astronaut.

1984: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro is the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major party.

1986: A controversial Yale University study suggests that single women over 35 have only a 5 percent chance of getting married.

1987: Maryland's Barbara Mikulski becomes the first Democratic woman elected to a Senate seat not previously held by her husband. She was also the first Democratic woman to serve in the House and the Senate.

1988: The French government approves RU-486, a controversial abortion pill.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.